The annual ICT4D Conferences have proven to be an invaluable opportunity for NGOs, private sector organizations, universities, governmental agencies and foundations to share their experience in using ICT to increase the impact of development programs and to learn from each other.  In 2016, 715 individuals from 76 countries and 301 private sector and public sector and civil society explored the ways to harness the full power of digital solutions to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.  Our thanks to Accenture, Catholic Relief Services, Esri, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, iMerit Technology Services, Inmarsat, IS Solutions, Making All Voices Count, Mercy Corps, Microsoft, NetHope, Oxfam, Pandexio, Qualcom Wireless Reach, RTI International, SimbaNet and World Vision for making that possible.

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Monday, May 16 • 14:00 - 14:45
Integrated Approach to Beneficiary Needs Assessment and Case Management LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

The Syrian crisis is now in its fifth year and Jordan is hosting some 625,000 Syrians refugees – most of them arrived in Jordan in the first 2-3 years since the outbreak of the war. The vast majority of Syrian refugees – over 500,000 – are living in Jordanian cities and rural communities, outside of camps. Thanks to the generosity of the Jordanian government and its people, a substantial international and national humanitarian aid effort and the initiatives of the refugees themselves, humanitarian standards were met for most refugees. Now, five years into the crisis the capacity of Jordanian communities to host refugees has become severely stretched. Having recognized that this protracted emergency requires a different approach, humanitarian agencies are now adopting a dual response: on one hand they are focusing on strengthening the resilience of refugees and their Jordanian hosting communities and on the other hand they are increasingly focused on ensuring that assistance is delivered in an efficient and effective way and on targeting the most vulnerable of households among refugees and Jordanians in hosting communities. All this requires increased coordination and synchronization between aid organizations. To facilitate this, a UNHCR-led initiative (supported by a steering committee of major aid agencies operating in Jordan) developed a framework aimed at assessing the vulnerability of refugees: universally and for each sector – basic needs, food security, shelter, health, education and WASH. Operating in this environment is Caritas Jordan, the local partner for all Caritas sister organizations with Syrian response programs to be implemented in Jordan. Its case workers based in 10 centers across Jordan and responsible for conducting beneficiary assessment interviews had to cope with forms (mostly paper based) constantly changing subject to the international Caritas sister organization for which they were doing assessments on a particular day. The process not only lacked harmonization, consistency and objectivity across the Caritas network, but also across other agencies active in Jordan. In addition, it proved to be highly labor intensive, slow and resulted ultimately in beneficiary fatigue – as many beneficiaries needed to be interviewed soon after again in order to benefit from programs addressing other sector-specific needs. Recognizing these issues as a major constraint on its ability to implement programs effectively and efficiently Caritas Jordan supported by Caritas Switzerland is currently in the process of developing a beneficiary vulnerability and needs assessment system which will host beneficiary data on a CRM platform enabling beneficiary selection for programs and case management of beneficiaries. The first phase of the project has been completed: the development of an electronic data collection system (using tablets) to assess beneficiaries’ vulnerability – based on the UNHCR developed framework – and needs for humanitarian services as provided by the Caritas network. The developed system was tested in a trial which covered about 1,400 households reached through 5 Caritas centers across Jordan and involved some 30 Caritas case workers and Caritas volunteers. The trial concluded in early February 2016. Outcomes of the trial so far suggest the system will be able to deliver the following: * Scoring of beneficiary vulnerability in line with UNHCR standards and consistent across Caritas sister organizations and other agencies. * Scoring of vulnerable Jordanians in line and comparable with that of refugees. * Faster turnaround times – the beneficiary selection process can commence as soon as beneficiary interviewing has been completed. * Conducting holistic assessments of beneficiary needs which then enable Caritas to “pre-select” beneficiaries for programs with specific sector focus (e.g. health, education / livelihood) without further assessments. * Enhanced targeting of beneficiaries combining vulnerability scores with specific selection criteria such as household composition (e.g. number of children in certain age groups, dependency ratio, female headed households, etc.) or sector specific household situation (e.g. school aged children not attending school, household members with chronic health conditions not being managed, substandard shelter). * Advanced probing for improved accuracy of beneficiary data and case workers’ improved understanding of beneficiary situation. * Case workers being released from the responsibility of having to make subjective assessments of beneficiaries. * Overall reduced beneficiary fatigue. On the technical side, the following observations were made: * In line with growing experience of the humanitarian community, the accuracy of data was substantially improved and labor intensive paper-based data collection replaced with faster and more efficient electronic system. * Improved skips and other functions (such as piping and generation of dynamic content) proved to be key for selection of the mobile data collection and form-building platform. Without these features, more sophisticated and powerful questionnaires cannot be designed.

avatar for Sigrid Pfaffle

Sigrid Pfaffle

M & E Specialist, MENA Region, Caritas Swiss
Sigrid Pfaffle is a specialist in monitoring & evaluation, social and market research and analysis, project planning and management within public, private sector and not-for-profit organisations. Born and brought up in Germany, Sigrid has worked - after completing a Master's... Read More →

Monday May 16, 2016 14:00 - 14:45 EAT