The simulation was conducted in five communes in Quang Tri province between 4 and 5 June 2019. In total, 1,013 people who are poor and nearly poor were selected to participate in the piloting. Each person received VND 250,000 (CHF 10.5) as allowance for their travel cost (petrol) and/or their wages. Out of the total number of beneficiaries, 428 persons registered with Viettel, while 585 others accessed the Post Office service, both of which are financial service providers (FSPs).
The simulation is part of the project “Cash Preparedness Initiative” implemented by selected National Societies with the technical support from IFRC. The goal of the Asia Cash Preparedness initiative is for Viet Nam Red Cross (VNRC) to have the capacity and the ability to use cash transfer programming in emergencies, recovery and resilience activities in a faster and more scalable way.
The simulation observed the following:
- Distribution sites were well set up;
- Both FSPs were efficient and familiar with their services.
- Encashment went very well. Staff of the two FSPs showed good attitude and patience to beneficiaries, particularly with those who have no experience with using ATM card (with Viettel) and who are proxy (with Post Office).
- Cooperation and support from the local authority was provided. In some communes, desks were arranged so that local authority leader could verify the relationship between the beneficiaries and their proxy.
- Distribution tickets were handed over to beneficiaries between 1 to 2 days prior to the distribution. At the distribution site, PO distributed cash in envelops. They managed from validation to distribution. Given their experience with other organizations, PO can distribute to 120 people within one hour with a team of 6 distributors and validators and 2 site managers. Reconciliation was done at end of each distribution with signatures of VNRC, PO and local authorities.
- Logos of VNRC, purpose of the cash, role of VNRC (cash supported by VNRC) and PO (as distributor) are indicative in the envelope containing cash provided to beneficiaries. However, there is no VNRC logo in the distribution ticket. This needs to be improved in the future. Proxy needs verification by local authority leaders.
- Viettel Pay set up mobile counters at each commune where they handed over the ATM cards and helped beneficiaries to encash out directly with them. SMS message was sent to beneficiary’s phone numbers to update balance in their accounts (auto message). In addition, ViettelPay supported (free) another message informing the date, time and place where people can encash out. It took around three hours for ViettelPay to complete distribution to around 100 beneficiaries. Proxy was accepted with ID and mobile phone of beneficiaries plus the proxy’s ID. It was observed that around 90% of beneficiaries accessed accounts/ATM cards for the first time.
- Beneficiary exist survey were conducted at each distribution site by volunteers, using KOTO TOOLBOX. In total, 168 beneficiaries were interviewed. See below for further details.
- In total, 581 out of 588 beneficiaries received cash through PO. 7 beneficiaries moved to other places. As with Viettel, 412 out of 425 people have received ATM and encashed out. Viettel handed the rest of 13 ATM cards to Red Cross commune staff who will deliver them to the beneficiaries who did not show up in the distribution.