European Commission Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection; Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Germany; Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland; Global WASH Cluster;
Growing humanitarian needs, protracted and recurring crises, and changing environments of aid delivery, especially in middle-income countries like in the Middle East, have increasingly triggered discussion on humanitarian aid effectiveness, modalities and program-designs, also discussed at Stockholm WWW in the past years. Humanitarian organisations increasingly view market-based programing (incl. cash-transfer and vouchers) as an effective response to address humanitarian needs of affected people. In addition, market based interventions can facilitate effective complementarity to development interventions and existing social protection systems. Even in emergencies local markets and supply structures should be strengthened and included in a response.
The humanitarian WASH sector is still in its early stages of integrating market-based programming as a standard practice. Further empirical evidence and ‘good practice’ examples are needed to illustrate that market-based programming allows people to adequately cover their WASH needs. Potential drivers and limitations of market-based programming in the WASH sector need to be identified and links to existing social protection systems and development interventions must be explored. Stockholm provides an exceptional platform for these discussions as it offers the opportunity for the humanitarian community to meet with development WASH experts, private sector and decision makers, who are experienced in working through markets.
16:00 Welcome, introduction and thematic definitions
Thilo Panzerbieter, Chair German WASH Network
16:10 The global push for multi-purpose cash assistance. Is cash the appropriate tool to meet WASH needs?
Bärbel Kofler, Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid of the Federal Government of Germany
Lessons from Practitioners
16:15 Promoting market-based responses to emergencies through WASH market mapping and analysis
Katie Whitehouse, Oxfam GB
16:20 Use of economic incentives in a large scale humanitarian WASH response and potential market failure in the Philippines post Yolanda
Simone Klawitter, UNICEF
16:25 Effectiveness and appropriateness of cash-based approach to deliver sanitation solutions in the Philippines post Yolanda
Rolando Wallusche Saul, Catholic Relief Service
16:30 Questions and Answers
Current Status, Gaps and Challenges of Market-Based Programming the WASH Sector
16:40 The WASH cluster perspective
Dominique Porteaud / Frank Bouvet, Global WASH Cluster
16:45 The donor perspective
Daniel Clauss, ECHO
16:50 The development perspective
Dr. Ulrike Pokorski, GIZ
Defining the Scope of Market-Based and Cash-Transfer Programming in the Humanitarian WASH Sector
16:55 Fish Bowl Discussion
and open for event participants
Conclusion and Closure
Angela Siegmund, German Federal Foreign Office
Thilo Panzerbieter, German Toilet Organization
Growing humanitarian needs, the proliferation of protracted and complex crises, rapidly changing environments of aid delivery, especially in middle-income countries like in the Middle East, have increasingly triggered discussion on humanitarian aid effectiveness, modalities and program-designs, also discussed at Stockholm WWW in the past years. Along with the broader discussion a push towards the use of cash-transfers and in particular unconditional and multipurpose grants can be observed.
The humanitarian and civil protection of the European Union (DG ECHO) has introduced the principle that humanitarian actors should answer this question prior to any assistance. Commitments under the Grand Bargain of the World Humanitarian Summit recommend that ‘cash should be considered equally and systematically alongside other forms of humanitarian assistance, and where cash is considered feasible, it should be the preferred and default modality’. At present an estimate of 6% of humanitarian assistance globally is delivered in the form of cash, the share in the WASH sector is most likely far below that. The humanitarian WASH sector is in its very early stages of integrating market-based programming (MBP) and cash-transfers as a standard practice. However CTP is promoted with telling hypotheses and strong influencing power. The following opportunities were raised during the event in Stockholm:
MBP/CTP offers the opportunity to increase …
Despite good evidence underpinning the potentials of CTP, mainly coming from other sectors, like food security and livelihoods, there is still a lack of empirical evidence and ‘good practice’ examples showing how these modalities and in particular unconditional grants can be effective in meeting WASH objectives. Because of the poor evidence base the sector is not well prepared to influence the discussion / ‘cash agenda’ and to resist against the pull of other sectors and influential actors. Apart from good arguments the WASH sector needs to actively engage in the dialogue and ensure that WASH-stakeholders and expertise is adequately represented in relevant forums of humanitarian policy, in Cash Working Groups and coordination bodies on all levels. To fill the gaps the Global WASH Cluster has taken on a leadership role and set up a Technical Working Group on “WASH & Markets” (TWiG) to strengthen the WASH cluster members’ understanding of and engagement with market-based approaches, as well as to explore and build evidence on markets-based approaches in WASH. Donors should be willing to support pilots with flanking research components.
Many WASH practitioners are doubtful that in a crisis market systems can responsibly achieve intended WASH and in particular public health outcomes, which are defined by standards (e.g. SPHERE), guidance, organisation mandates or donor commitments. In Stockholm the following legitimate concerns have been expressed:
1. Timeliness and Effectiveness
2. Quality Standards / Public Health Dimension
3. Emergency Coordination
4. Humanitarian Principles, Social Impact and Ethical Questions
Even though MBP is much wider than CTP, the discourse is dominated by the discussion around cash. While CTP includes a set of modalities, like cash grants or vouchers, which primarily address the demand side of markets, MBP includes all types of activities of a humanitarian response - and even those we perceive as traditional – which support the demand and the supply side of market systems. In contrast to the traditional forms of humanitarian assistance MBP approaches promote the consequent implementation of market awareness (e.g. local procurement), support (e.g. temporary support of local supply chains / grants for rehabilitation) and/or development (e.g. business- or supply chain development) in the humanitarian response to achieve a faster and more sustainable economic recovery.
The need for the mainstreaming of a more systematic and WASH adapted approach to Market Analysis was identified, with the indication that the right resource model and depth for every context has to be found to not overstretch the burden of assessments, monitoring and evaluation. Also donors should be encouraged to shift funding to a more proactive use of analyses whilst not encouraging analysis fatigue. While ready-to-use tools for market analysis and assessments and a wide range of response options already exist, the sector is still lacking a robust evaluation and monitoring framework. The development of an M&E framework measuring impact, quality, cost efficiency and effectiveness of MBP/CTP was identified as a key prerequisite to enhance institutional understanding and support the compilation of a robust evidence base. To get these tools in practice the capacity gap needs to be addressed through the development of a WASH & Markets competency framework and capacity building formats.
The Stockholm events expressed the need to prove where? (context), when? (phase) and how? (modality) MBP and/or CTP allows people to adequately cover the WASH needs of affected populations. Due to missing standard operating procedures and low levels of preparedness and contingency planning the roll out of MBP/CTP at scale still takes long planning and preparation processes. For this reason it is still questionable, if MBP/CTP alone can guarantee an effective and timely response in the live saving needs / relief phase of an emergency. To improve guidance the development of a continuum matrix which should describe the applicability (incl. pre-requisites for the application) of MBP/CTP modalities in different context and phases of an emergency depending on the prior level of preparedness was discussed during the event. The proactive proliferation of Pre-Crisis Market Analysis (PCMA) is essential to inform not only potential emergency responses but also to improve preparedness, contingency planning, mitigation and disaster risk reduction. PCMA assess the ability of critical market systems to respond to shock events and scale up to meet rapidly growing demand post-crisis.
MBP's inherent potential for early economic recovery has been identified as an opportunity, which requires a shift towards a more holistic approach to the phasing of programs. In particular Market Development (e.g. training of entrepreneurs, business development, microfinance etc.) takes time and needs streamlined funding for a smooth transition. The exchange between humanitarian and development actors should be fostered to identify synergies and make use of the development tools, skills and experiences. Development actors can encourage and support humanitarians in the development of governance programmes around MBP interventions.
As part of the discussion manifold ethical and social questions arise: MBP/CTP modalities transfer risks and responsibilities to market systems and require new forms of partnerships and implementing structures with private sector on the ground. These actors work for profit and have no intrinsic incentive to ensure equitable access to WASH services for all. The Stockholm event posed the question how we can ensure that these actors commit to a human rights based approach the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence? Like traditional WASH programmes, MBP/CTP should be aware and informed about social implications of the intervention and potential distortion of local markets and capable to mitigate risks. Guidance, tools and mitigation strategies might be different and need to be adapted for WASH practitioners.
The discussion continued at the meeting of SuSanA Working Group 08 "Emergency and Reconstruction".