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Case Study

Summary Analysis of Focus Group Discussions with Refugees on Social Protection & Cash Assistance

July 2023 — By UNHCR

Focus group discussions (FGDs) with refugees constitute an essential tool for shaping UNHCR and partners’ protection and inclusion programmes, including cash assistance. FGDs allow for a direct dialogue between protection actors, such as UNHCR, and refugees. By shedding light on the refugees’ perspectives through FGDs, UNHCR promotes an environment of trust and accountability. With this engagement, UNHCR not only elevates the efficiency of its assistance but also ensures a greater resonance with refugees themselves. This analysis aims to harness the power of collaborative dialogue and pave the way for a more responsive, tailor-made, and efficient system of social protection and cash assistance for refugees in Slovakia.

The objective of the FGDs analyzed in this document was to consult refugees, in particular but not exclusively those coming from Ukraine, and collect feedback on which groups of refugees are the most vulnerable and in need of cash assistance; identify possible risks of the cash assistance programmes and mitigation strategies together with refugees; collect feedback on possible challenges associated with the national social protection system; and identify refugees’ preferred channels for feedback and complaints related to cash assistance.

The eligibility criteria for cash assistance programmes that UNHCR has been facilitating in Slovakia in 2023 were adapted based on the results of the FGDs analyzed in this document. This also helped to ensure refugees’ buy-in in the cash distribution process and reduce the number of complaints about exclusion and inclusion errors.