I am about to implement a (cash transfer program) voucher program and worried about what to write in the contract with the local shop-owners. Does anyone have any advice?
Hello, what you write in the contract will depend on what exactly your voucher program is meant for.
For example, it won’t be the same for a food security program than for a shelter program. Though there are a few things in common that you may want to keep in mind.
You should detail, as much as possible, the way you are going to identify beneficiaries and share with the shop owners the beneficiary list. There must be no grey areas here, the process must be both clear and understood by all parties. You need to detail things like:
What is your distribution plan?
• When you plan to distribute your vouchers and whether you have more than one distribution planned for each beneficiary (e.g. 1 voucher per month for 3 months). You need this to be clearly understood by shop-owners so that they have time to replenish their stocks before each distribution.
• How long after that distribution you expect the beneficiaries to go and get their products.
How will you manage your beneficiary list?
• You need to agree when you are going to share the list with the shop owners, whether before or after the voucher distribution. You may want to agree with them on the number of beneficiaries before the distribution happens (so that they can check their stocks) and only share with them the beneficiaries' list the day before the voucher distribution.
• You also need to clarify who in your team is authorised to share the list. It needs to be clear who can do it, to avoid someone else from your organisation sharing sensitive or inaccurate information.
• You also need to make sure everybody understands what the master list is in case there are any discrepancies after the distribution.
• You also need to agree with the shop-owners whether they may add someone to the list themselves: in principle this doesn't look like a preferred option. Whatever is the best approach for your own project it needs to be clear since the beginning. Changes in the procedure should not be admitted after the distribution takes place.
• In villages where there is more than one shop, you must clarify which beneficiaries will attend each shop should you prefer to direct beneficiaries to different stores (because they live in different neighbourhoods for instance). You must be clear on what the shop owners should do if a beneficiary goes to a store that it's not the one you planned for him/her.
What is your voucher value and what happens to ‘left overs’?
• Make sure you specify the actual value of the voucher and what happens with the 'leftovers'. For example, if the quantities the beneficiary is asking for are worth 9.90 and the value of the voucher is 10, how will you manage that? What is your reconciliation process?
• Important to agree when you are going to pay for the products. Whatever your agreement may be with them you need to stick to it, especially ... (more)
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