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How social protection recipients can raise their voice – with SMS messages


How can social protection communications ensure recipients understand their entitlements and hold social protection officials to account? Even in humanitarian contexts, in remote, sparsely-populated regions with low technology-penetration rates?

This is the question that our Management Information Systems team in our Kenya office has been putting expertise into answering. It is important, both so that recipients can raise grievances and claim entitlements, and to help ensure quality programme delivery.

The work was undertaken as part of the technical assistance we have provided to the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP), which provides both regular, predictable cash transfers and shock-responsive transfers during drought emergencies in northern Kenya.

As the video (above, click), explains, Development Pathways created an SMS communications platform as part of the development of an integrated MIS. This gives HSNP recipients the opportunity to more easily query what is happening with their entitlements. All that is needed is a mobile phone that can send SMS messages – or else to go through an intermediary such as a neighbour or an area chief.

This was part of our work to manage the second phase of the HSNP as part of a consortium led by DAI Europe through the Programme Implementation and Learning Unit. The primary aim of the work was to build the capacity of the National Drought Management Authority to implement the programme within three years to respond to climate shocks.

“Development Pathways designs and builds social protection programmes and systems that put people first,” says Peter Thirikwa, our Senior MIS Specialist. “Beneficiaries need to be able to raise their voice, to make programmes work for them.”

We build management information systems underpinning social protection communications that put people first, giving full information on entitlements to both recipients and programme managers. More on our work to install, manage and maintain MIS databases is available here and on our training course in systems, advice and analysis for inclusive social protection here


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