Cash Transfer Feasibility Study in Nusa Tenggara Timur and Nusa Tenggara Barat

 The feasibility study in Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) and Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) indicates potential opportunities for WFP to apply cash transfer programme (CTP) in both provinces. Nevertheless, cash transfer approach is not always the most appropriate option when considering the needs, the expected impacts, and suitability to a specific context.

The opportunities for CTP application in the study was identified through a SWOT analysis which was based on the learning of existing and previous CTP implementation, institutional platform and supporting system, and comprehensive understanding of different needs for different household groups. In addition, WFP strengths related to knowledge and learning capacity, organizational capacity, and existing networks will direct such opportunities towards a successful CTP application. The threats and weaknesses recognized simply underline the need for a better organizational preparation, and are within a manageable level.
From the review of CTP applications in NTT and NTB, the study has distinguished a wide public acceptance yet expectation for a better and more participatory approach in CTP design and implementation. There is enormous learning from CTP implementations available at local, national, and global levels. Hence a library of knowledge is waiting for WFP’s further exploration and future adoption. The study also acknowledges a potential role for WFP to take in coordinating all related cash transfer works in Indonesia as it is still remaining a gap.
Although the study has limited coverage of market analysis, it has managed to capture the important role of market in providing advices on whether or not cash transfer is appropriate and which modality to choose, or whether in-kind distribution be opted instead. Market analysis should be part of the assessment, as it should be able to inform the intervention design. In this feasibility study, rice market in NTB and maize market in NTT have been chosen based on the importance of those two food items for the community and its great impact on people’s livelihood. A more detailed market assessment on essential/critical product is strongly recommended, if WFP plans to implement CTP in NTB and NTT.
Quality should be put at the heart of CTP implementation and preparation is its key contributing factor. The study has provided eight key preparation areas required, of which four key areas to be prioritized are: (1) in-house CTP capacity and expertise (2) finance and logistic support function (3) market and local economy understanding (4) standardization of tools, baseline information, and data collection. WFP in-house capacity should be soon developed through the availability of designated staff with CTP knowledge and skills, followed up by the development of CTP capacity building strategy, and initial reviews of various CTP guidelines to be adjusted to WFP context in Indonesia. Finance and logistic support in CTP application is as important as the programme division. A review of existing finance and logistic policy and procedures is required to see if it is ready for CTP application. Consultation with CTP experienced organizations will be useful. Tools and baseline data should be standardized and able to quantify diverse community needs. At the same time, CTP tools and instruments such as step by step guideline, various project forms, monitoring tools, and reporting format will be important to support future WFP cash transfer implementation and sound documentation throughout the process.