CVA & GBV Outcomes MENA Series – Webinars, Workshops, and the Way Forward
With support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) and CARE, and the CALP Network in MENA collaborated on the Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) and Gender-based Violence (GBV) focusing on CVA for GBV outcomes within and outside of GBV case management in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region. In parallel, WRC & CARE, on behalf of the Global Protection Cluster Task Team on Cash for Protection (TTC4P), convened a three-part workshop. Facilitators, presenters, and attendees included CVA and GBV coordinators, practitioners, donors and researchers.
Check out the webinar series and key learnings from both the webinar series and workshops, including the Q&A sheets in both Arabic & English, below.
1/3: TURKEY & Northwest SYRIA
The first of the webinar series, held on the 6th of September, included Amani Kanjo the Protection and GBV Advisor, Syria Relief and Development (SRD), Marlyn Alabdullah the GBV and SRH Project Manager, CARE Turkey (Crossborder Program for Northwest Syria) and Mohannad Alghabra the Livelihoods Manager – CARE Turkey Response, CBI-TWG technical advisor.
The webinar was then followed by the in-person workshop held on the 15th of September for Northwest Syria in Gaziantep. The workshop was convened by WRC, CARE, UNFPA, CashCap, GBV Whole of Syria Subcluster (Turkey hub) and CWG NWSyria.
Key takeaways from Workshop 1
Proposed good practices from Gaziantep
- Integrated programmes CVA &GBV works well;
- Cash is the most emerging need for GBV survivors;
- Build GBV-CWG community of practice w/ joint activities to break silos;
- Advocacy: allocate % of funded CVA caseload to supporting referred GBV cases
- Bridge internal referral gaps through integrated programming
- Facilitate external referral channels including MoUs
- Pilot, document , share lessons & good practices to keep improving SOPs
- Establish Community Committees for consultations & awareness raising
Challenges from Gaziantep
- Siloed working environment is still a challenge
- Reconciliation of data protection, CVA processes and donor reporting requirements across programming
- Inadequate resources for joint training on safe referrals and harmonization of approaches and tools
- Decreasing funding impedes maximization of GBV support
- GBV should be a criteria without need of further assessments across sectors
The second webinar, held on the 20th of September, included Nour Al Saaideh the Director of Protection and Community Engagement Program with CARE Jordan, Loubna Al Kanda the Protection Coordinator with INTERSOS, and Maram Khaled Al-zyout, the Project Coordinator with FOCCEC.
The webinar was then followed by the in-person workshop held on the 28th and 29th of September and was a hybrid workshop from Amman. The workshop was convened by WRC, CARE, UNFPA, INTERSOS & UNHCR.
Key takeaways from Workshop 2
Proposed good practices from Amman
- Continuous outreach about services & integrated programming
- Harmonize transfer value & frequency in SOPs
- Flexible & alternative delivery mechanisms
- Use of applications like Amaali for referral
Challenges from Amman
- Lack of identification
- Demand for/referrals to vs. supply of livelihoods support
- 4Ws underutilized
- Confidentiality & data sharing
- Funding to scale successful approaches
- Inclusion of survivors with marginalized identities. (SOGIESC sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics).
The first of the webinar series, held on the 6th of September, included Amani Kanjo the Protection and GBV Advisor, Syria Relief and Development (SRD), Marlyn Alabdullah the GBV and SRH Project Manager, CARE Turkey (Cross border Program for Northwest Syria) and Mohannad Alghabra the Livelihoods Manager – CARE Turkey Response, CBI-TWG technical advisor.
MENA REGIONAL WORKSHOP
Following the country level webinars and workshops, a regional virtual workshop was held on the 13th of October convened by WRC, CARE & the CALP Network. The workshop included English, Arabic & Turkish live translation services available for participants.
Overall key takeaways
- CVA for GBV outcomes should be delivered within GBV case management. CVA is not a silver bullet and to ensure that CVA does not expose survivors and individuals at risk to any further harm, CVA should be delivered within the framework of GBV case management in adherence to a survivor-centered approach.
- More effort is needed to ensure the inclusion of marginalized GBV survivors and individuals at risk in GBV case management, as well as in CVA-integrated GBV case management specifically. Further, to ensure that services are accessible and safe. Survivors and individuals at risk of GBV with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and sex characteristics, individuals living with disabilities, adolescents and male survivors, are often left out of programs or face risks and even discrimination when accessing services.
- Monitoring and evaluation of CVA-integrated GBV case management should be systematic. Existing guidance and tools can support case follow up to generate evidence and bridge evidence gaps on using CVA for GBV outcomes and to further clarify the optimal CVA design features, such as delivery modality, delivery mechanism, transfer value, frequency of transfer, duration of transfers and complementary activities and services. M&E should be in coordination with GBV specialists; in many cases monitoring should be led by GBV case workers synced with case follow up.
- CVA for GBV outcomes should be tailored to the unique needs, protection concerns and case action plans for survivors and individuals at risk for whom CVA is appropriate. CVA should be directly linked to and supportive of specific protection outcome(s) in the case action plan. One size does not fit all: copy-paste is not only ineffective and at odds with a survivor-centered approach, but may expose recipients to further harm if CVA is not appropriately tailored. Transfer values should be informed by market assessments of protection related goods and services in a given context in coordination with CVA-Markets specialists; transfer values should be flexible and specific to the needs of each survivor. Recurrent cash is often most effective, while one of cash might be appropriate for some cases.
- CVA integrated within GBV case management should be systematically paired with referrals for livelihoods support to ensure recovery from violence, reduced exposure to future GBV risks and to make sure that GBV survivors and individuals at risk of GBV do not become dependent on humanitarian assistance and are self-reliant. Stronger referrals between GBV programming and livelihoods programming are needed and livelihoods program design needs to consider and mitigate GBV risks as well as be gender-responsive at minimum and ideally gender-transformative.
- CVA for GBV outcomes needs to complement MPCA to make sure that recipients’ basic needs are covered as well as their protection needs. Cash for GBV outcomes and MPCA are not mutually exclusive but are both necessary and complementary. When Cash for GBV and MPCA are not harmonized survivors triage their needs and often cover basic needs leaving their protection needs unfulfilled. Getting it right requires proper coordination, sufficient funding and appropriate program design.
- Local organizations are key in supporting GBV survivors and individuals at risk. It is local organizations who are most often delivering GBV case management that integrates CVA. Leveraging partnerships between local and International organizations will ensure that the needs of survivors and individuals at risk are met, that programs are appropriate for context, and that organizations expertise complement each other. It is essential to assess partners’ capacities on the program components they will lead (CVA or GBV) and to ensure competencies for inclusive programming that reaches all survivors and individuals at risk, including those with marginalized identities.
- Confidentiality, data protection and data sharing: Adherence to a survivor-centered approach requires confidentiality about the case of all survivors and individuals at risk who are in GBV case management. Policies and procedures for data protection and data sharing need to be aligned with a survivor-centered approach so that implementation of CVA for GBV outcomes allows for data ownership within GBV teams, enables sharing of specific de-identified data with CVA, Finance and other teams as needed to facilitate internal and external referrals for CVA, including with financial service providers, and for donor reporting/auditing.
- There is a wealth of experience, practical examples and contextualized field resources available. There is no need to reinvent the wheel in MENA or globally. Global guidance and tools should be leveraged and contextualized for specific response context through coordination between CVA and GBV actors. This process historically has taken ~18 months, however, as countries learn from one another, time needed has condensed and may with the right support be possible in as little as 8 months (as in the case of Turkey learning from NWS and other contexts). It takes some time for CVA and GBV practitioners and coordinators to “speak the same language.” At key moments in the process of drafting harmonized Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and other guidance and tools, engaging donors for their input, and in some cases endorsement, can advance the process, strengthen the field resources and lay the foundation for donor support to fund operations. Having equal numbers of CVA and GBV actors participate in the coordination process is an asset representing GBV sub working groups and Cash working groups, among any other coordination bodies that can contribute.
- The opportunity for local organizations and donors to be in direct dialogue on successes, challenges and visions for the way forward was unique, clarifying and a good model for further dialogue. Listen to the recording (timestamp 1h 49 min).
It’s indisputable that over the past 7 years ago there have been significant advancements in the use of CVA for GBV outcomes globally, and across the MENA region. There are many field resources ready to be applied and a growing evidence base to inform the uptake of evidence-based practice at scale. Further evidence is needed to bridge gaps.
There is work to do advance policy and funding. Greater efforts are needed to ensure that services are inclusive and safe for survivors and individuals at risk with marginalized identities and further localization. As we all know CVA is not a silver bullet. More effort is needed to integrate programming, including CVA-integrated GBV with livelihoods programming for survivors’ longer term recovery, a sustainable exit strategy and to do no harm.
Thank you to each of you for being champions on CVA and GBV and we look forward to further collaboration so that we can get it right for survivors and those at risk of GBV. Thanks to colleagues and presenters who shared their expertise, experiences and. Thank you so much to all of you who have participated.