23/02 Meeting with village leadership [Oxfam]

Disclaimer: these are working notes taken during the field visit. They are provided here to give a sense of the conversation that took place in the field, and to put evidence in context. The notes have not been edited to be a final product. They might contain some inaccuracies and glitches. Information, findings will be further revised by checking reports, by crosschecking  additional evidence and in additional exchanges with key evaluation stakeholders

[TO REVISE AND ADD VIDEO]

We met a group of local representatives.

They are very happy with the work done by Oxfam, but it would be good if they could include all because there are some excluded people. Who are these excluded people? There are 411 HH who have relief work but 199 only had participation on CWF and 22 got the compassionate grant. Everyone should have been included. Who are the people left out, in comparison with these included in the CFW? The people left out are a bit better off. Oxfam gave them a list to guide the selection, so they selected the poorest people.  If they had to chose the criteria themselves, or adapt them what would they have changed? All the organizations coming here are focusing on Chapang and Dalit. We are also the affected ones. Also Oxfam prioritized these groups. A lady say that Dalit were not in the criteria, but there was still a focus on them. Do they still have the criteria here? They do not have it here. But were Oxfam criteria given to them? They were verbally passed on to them. They were not given written information about the criteria defined by Oxfam.

So what do they remember about Oxfam criteria?

  • People who have earthquake card (for the people with no card with need, the WFC decided that they can get the opportunity)
  • Poor people (depending on daily wages and also these with very little land, not enough for food security)
  • Single women
  • Had to be from 18/60

Was the cast part of the criteria? Cast was not part of the criteria. However all the organizations are more focused on Dalit communities. But other casts are also affected. Organizations should look at the need also of other people. What about this village? She feels that in this village some dalit people who were less deserving got the assistance, at the expenses of more deserving non-dalits. [We have a long discussion about this… is it really the case? And, if so, why? The agreement is that this was a generalization and it was not really the case in this village]

What did they do after they got the criteria from Oxfam? How did they decide who should receive the assistance? As soon as they did information about the CFW the social mobilizer called the ward coordinator. He gave the names given based on the criteria. Did he decide on his own? Political leaders from the party were present + social mobilizers. They spent 7 to 10 days selecting people. They discussed amongst themselves and then they did some spot check. They visited some of the households to check. They decided together that they had to check. They visited all the houses. Amongst 411 HH they selected 280 at the beginning. When they sent this list at Oxfam they were told to reduce it further. So they had visited houses […]

80 houses were left out: they told that they will be involved in another activity (livelihood with Oxfam). This new activity is support for farming (e.g. livestock, water supply). The person left out are slightly better off. But they are then promising to better off people some assistance. Did they discuss this with Oxfam? Or did they take this decision independently? This was an idea of the social mobilizer. [It is not clear if it was “promised formally” that they will get assistance, but the agreement in the group is that this is what is likely to happen, and it is a decision not formalized by de facto taken]

Why did they need to go and see the different houses? They are from the village, don’t they know them? They said that it took 7/10 days to go to the houses. Actually it was not a full day. They have work to do, so they could only do this when they had free time. After the earthquake they had not gone there and so they had to go. In some cases it takes 2/3 hours to go there.  

The process that they followed is the same they usually do. The difference is that usually they do blanket approach. But what about projects before the earthquake? How did they go about distributing goods, services, benefits? Before they received programmes. Not distribution programmes, but more service oriented programmes.  Also in this case the representatives of the parties were sitting with the WCF forum and discuss who would get the benefit. There is no difference with the structure put in place for the CFW.

Why should the parties be involved? If any development activity comes here it is almost impossible to implement without discussing with the political parties. Otherwise it will be impossible to implement this programme. For example, there was a programme after the earthquake. 400 rice sacks came from Thailand. They were brought in the village. They were to be distributed in 2 wards, by one party. But people did not agree. There was conflict amongst political parties. The rice was taken back. One party brought this rice. The other 2 parties did not agree with this distribution and blocked the distribution.

Did anyone came to any of you to complain about the CWF? The WCF rep received one such complaint, from some people left out. And what happened? He said: “we are selecting the most affected…”.  In the VDC office there are some meeting places and tea shop, and they put the notices. There is not a single place where to put the information.  

Suggestion to Oxfam? It is better if everybody is included.

Was any woman included in the selection? Women were involved. How? They came with the card to be registered. (they applied). Women from the villages were involved during the verification process. Member of the WCF were also involved in the verification (and the WCF has some women member). They went along to visit the houses. They were asked in the houses.

In one place 20 HH were present and 5 have to be reduced. And the women of that ward were consulted in including or eliminating.The Oxfam rep say that there is NO limitation for the budget for the people who respect 5 of 8 criteria. If people respect the criteria, they should have had the assistance – there is no quota. We check it with participants. The partner told them that they had a quota.  it was probably a communication problem with the partner. Villagers were given a number of beneficiaries. They were not aware of the criteria. They did not know that that people simply had to satisfy criteria to be eligible.

A person shows us a piece of paper with information on CWF and future programmes. It is a piece of paper that is known by Oxfam social mobilizer and by the WFC rep, but not by other people. Amongst other things it says that the people who received the cask for work will not receive the livelihood grant. They had already done selection of beneficiaries for the next programme based on this.

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2 thoughts on “23/02 Meeting with village leadership [Oxfam]”

  1. So what do they remember about Oxfam criteria?
    The criteria they mentioned also included: households without regular salary (government and private) and households not receiving remittance.

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  2. Comments received from Oxfam

    So what do they remember about Oxfam criteria?
    • People who have earthquake card (for the people with no card with need, the WFC decided that they can get the opportunity)
    • Poor people (depending on daily wages and also these with very little land, not enough for food security)
    • Single women
    • Had to be from 18/60
    COMMENT:
    In addition to these, people also mentioned about households without regular salary (government and private) and households not receiving remittance.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________
    She feels that in this village some dalit people who were less deserving got the assistance, at the expenses of more deserving non-dalits. [We have a long discussion about this… is it really the case? And, if so, why? The agreement is that this was a generalization and it was not really the case in this village]
    COMMENT:
    Actually she was explaining this in relation to winterization kits distributed by World Vision rather than OXFAM’s livelihood program. She was also linking this with the jobs allocated by local NGOs for Chepangs and Dalits. Moreover, the one to comment is from strong economic background, having affiliation with some local users committee.
    —————————————————————————————————————–
    They visited some of the households to check. They decided together that they had to check. 
    COMMENT:
    According to Ward Management Committee member, this was done especially as they wanted to confirm whether the households are actually affected by earthquake.
    —————————————————————————————————————–
    80 houses were left out: they told that they will be involved in another activity (livelihood with Oxfam). This new activity is support for farming (e.g. livestock, water supply).
    COMMENT:
    As said by people in meeting, ‘Social Mobilizer said they may be covered under livelihood support program which was yet to be implemented’. The new activity is for farmers, livestock dependent and petty trading family.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————————
    [It is not clear if it was “promised formally” that they will get assistance, but the agreement in the group is that this is what is likely to happen, and it is a decision not formalized by de facto taken]
    COMMENT:
    We have already received the final beneficiary list from that particular community which includes livelihood grant as well. The 80 remaining households they said has not been covered fully. Households meeting our criteria have only been selected among those.
    Out of 411 households, 199 have been covered under Cash for Work, 22 under Compassionate grant and 43 under livelihood grants, which totals to 264 beneficiary households.
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    The partner told them that they had a quota.  it was probably a communication problem with the partner. Villagers were given a number of beneficiaries. They were not aware of the criteria. They did not know that people simply had to satisfy criteria to be eligible.
    COMMENT:
    As mentioned by the people, they are aware of the criteria. As you have noted in the beginning of this blog, people know about selection criteria. And the criteria that were missed in noting or translation have already been commented in this document.
    —————————————————————————————————————–
    A person shows us a piece of paper with information on CWF and future programmes. It is a piece of paper that is known by Oxfam social mobilizer and by the WFC rep, but not by other people. Amongst other things it says that the people who received the cask for work will not receive the livelihood grant. They had already done selection of beneficiaries for the next programme based on this.
    COMMENT:
    We didn’t distribute the notice papers while starting Cash for Work. Later on we realized that it’s better to distribute written paper/notice about our future programmes so that people know why some have been covered or others not. For Livelihood grant support, we distributed the paper with selection criteria and the objective of livelihood grant support. We didn’t distirbute that notice to every household, only 100 households were provided. The basic rationale for doing so is information spreads quickly in Nepalese rural setting and we assumed there is no need to distribute to all the households.

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