Monitoring & oversight arrangements
. Posted Date: 01/17/2016

THIRD NATIONAL SOLIDARITY PROGRAM (NSP III)

MAINTENANCE CASH GRANT MONITORING AND OVERSIGHT ARRANGEMENTS IN PLACE 

 

DEFINITIONS

 

Maintenance Cash Grant (MCG) 

·         The MCG will be given to eligible Community Development Councils (CDC) to finance detailed maintenance plans that are developed in close consultation with the wider community, approved and monitored at various stages by NSPs Provincial Management Units (PMU), Finance department, Monitoring teams and the CDC members;

·         An MCG will be up to a ceiling of AFA 640,000 (est. US$ 10,000) per community to be utilized for the repairs/maintenance of public productive infrastructure such as roads, irrigation systems etc;

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    • With US$50 million available for Phase I, an estimated 5.52 million paid labor days are expected to be generated within 6 months of receiving the MCG in 4,600 communities;  

 

Disbursement and Utilization of Maintenance Cash Grants

·         The MCG will be disbursed to CDCs bank accounts from the NSP HQ's Finance Department to the DA Afghanistan Bank's HQ once staff[1] at the PMU level are in place and) the maintenance plan is developed with the CDC and approved by the PMU (engineers and  social mobilizers) and NSPs engineering department;  

·         Maintenance cash grants will be considered as expenditures immediately upon disbursement. However, the Client will ensure the monitoring and fiduciary oversight arrangements described in the operations manual are adhered to post-disbursement, up to full grant utilization for the state purposes. Upon complete utilization of the funds and/or completion of the maintenance works, the CDC will be required to complete documentation of the labor logbook/register, report on the actual labor generation and the amounts paid against the same, the functionality and condition of the infrastructure for which repairs/ maintenance was done, and the key variations between the actual work/budget and that stated in the original proposal. This will be done with the support of the PMU and monitored by NSP's M&E department for the period up to the NSP III closure date.  

 

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    • The MCG is expected to be fully utilized in an estimated 6 months;
    • The applicable wage rate will be determined as AFA 50 less than the local wage rate. For budgeting purposes, it is an estimated at AFA 750 for skilled (e.g. trained masons, electricians, plumbers and carpenters) and AFA 350 for unskilled workers (all other paid manual labor). With an average grant of approximately AFA 603,000 to 4,600 CDCs, around 1206 days of paid labor is expected to be generated in each community – giving around 54 community members (one worker from each household) 22 days of paid labor over the next 1 to 3 months.

 

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

 

·         Eligibility of Communities will be determined by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) and will be based on a regional balance, accessibility, seasonality, reasonable security, higher provincial male underemployment rates, and satisfactory block grant utilization under the regular NSP etc.;

·         Permissible menu will include repairs/maintenance/improvement to: Access/ tertiary roads, bridges, culverts, gabion walls, path ways, Irrigation systems (such as canals, karez), Water Supply Networks and Power Generation Projects etc.  In addition to this, food preparation by female headed households and snow clearing for access roads will also be permissible;

Grants will be provided to those Communities who have an approved maintenance plan: The NSP PMUs will prepare the Part 1 of the Maintenance Plan (Form I) and the MCG will be disbursed once the Part I is completed and uploaded into the database. Actual cash withdrawal from the CDC bank accounts of the grants will be conditional on the approval and uploading into the system of Part 2 of the Form 1. The detailed maintenance plan will include (i) priorities identified for maintenance by the CDC (with the help of the Social Mobilizer) in close consultation with the wider community; and (ii) a list of total costs of the proposed maintenance work (ideally divided into the 70% labor and 30% non-labor cost breakdown). Supporting documents may include a photograph of each infrastructure proposed to be maintained, brief design/ scope of works etc that will be verified by the CDC representatives, followed by approval by the Provincial Manager.

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FIDUCIARY OVERSIGHT, TECHNICAL SUPPORT AND MONITORING ARRANGEMENTS

 

There are a number of steps in place during the utilization of the maintenance cash grants, with the CDC being primarily responsible for managing the funds, development of the detailed maintenance plan in consultation with the wider community, reporting on the actual labor generation, payments made, functionality and condition of the infrastructure etc. Given the quick disbursing nature, technical support and oversight required the Provincial Management units will support CDCs throughout the process and, up to the NSP III closure date, the NSP's M&E and Engineering departments will ensure that sufficient oversight and monitoring takes place to ensure proper and full utilization of the MCG.

 

Fiduciary Oversight

·         The same bank accounts opened for all CDCs under the NSP over the last ten years of program implementation will be used for these grants. The same signatories will also remain, provided they remain in the community. 3 signatories will be required, i.e. the elected CDC Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. Two of the signatories need to be physically present for the cash withdrawal;

·         Once the Part 1 of the Form 1 (Maintenance Plan) is prepared by the PMU in consultation with the CDC, the full grant amount (i.e. 100%) is disbursed to the CDCs' bank accounts in a single installment. The Part 2 of the Form is then prepared by the community with the technical support of the engineer and social organizer, and approved by the PMU. Actual cash withdrawals from the bank accounts are permitted only after the Part 2 of the Form I is approved and uploaded into the system. Unlike the regular NSP Block Grants, there will be no mandated 10% community contribution for MCGs;

·         Given the quick disbursing nature of the MCG through everyday wage payments and the time and distance to the bank from communities, the CDC will be allowed to withdraw the full grant in one installment, provided they safeguard the cash withdrawn and guarantee its safety until full utilization is completed which will be monitored by the PMU up to the NSP III closure date;

·         Actual labor payments made from the grants will be documented and verification will be done by signatures of the CDC office bearers and two non-CDC representatives from within the community, preferably trained Community Participatory Monitors (CPM) members and submitted via the engineer to the NSP Provincial Manager;

 

Technical support

·         The NSP is setting up a dedicated unit for the Maintenance Cash Grants that will also conduct monitoring and spot checks on a small sample nationwide;

·         Facilitation for the Maintenance Cash Grants will be provided by staff hired directly by the NSP's Provincial Management Units (PMUs) in the selected Provinces. The key staffing will include 1 engineer and 1 social mobilizer for every 20 communities, and recruitment is expected to be completed by end-November 2015;

·         An operations manual that will be an annex ‘N’ to the NSP manual will be approved by the WB, and will include all forms of verification, monitoring, activities under the maintenance plan and details of the approval process at each stage;

·         NSP will collect all market rates in each Province and set wages at AFA 50 less than the wage rate for skilled/unskilled labor per work day per person in that particular district/province. The work day is defined as a  8 hours of work per day. The wage rate is intentionally set at lower than the average market rate to facilitate that the persons who would come forward for work under these wages are the most vulnerable, and does not take workers away from any other ongoing/similar construction work;

·         Lessons-learned, challenges, case studies, trends etc will be captured through two studies to be conducted at mid-term and end of the first phase.

 

Monitoring Arrangements

·         Once the maintenance plan is developed it will be approved by the PMU and the MCG will be made available in the CDC's bank account. The social organizer, engineer and the CDC will hold a community-wide meetings and display relevant information on notice boards in easily accessible public places within the community to inform the wider community of the opportunity for short-term jobs under these grants;

·         The CDC is required to maintain a simple register/logbook (MCG Form 2) listing the names and amounts paid per day for every day of work utilizing the MCG;

·         MCG Forms 1 and 3 will be entered into a digital web-based database module by the engineers and/or social organizers at the PMU level. Scanned forms (MCG form 1, 2 and 3) will also be digitally archived and accessible by the NSP Finance Department at the HQ;

·         Communities will be informed of the NSP's Grievance Handling Unit and mechanisms and how they may report complaints or grievances arising from the MCG implementation via different secure channels. The engineer and social mobilizer will also be trained to be the first point of contact for grievances;

·         The monitoring of the paid labor and the payments for the same will be the responsibility of the CDC and will be monitored on randomly selected days by the engineer and the social organizer during maintenance work;

·         Both the engineer and the social organizer will monitor activities under the Maintenance Cash Grants directly in each community . The NSP PMU will monitor the activities based on a small random sampling basis at various stages of the implementation process.

 

The table below outlines the various stages of the process, levels of monitoring and oversight that will be put in place to ensure that eligible communities will benefit from the MCGs.

Activity

Primary responsible

First level of monitoring/ TA

Second level of monitoring/ TA

Third level of monitoring/ TA

CDC bank accounts

Whole CDC

PMU

NSP HQ Finance Dept will check bank balances via DAB issued statements

 

CDC bank account signatories

3 CDC office bearers

PMU

 

 

Maintenance Plan (Form 1)

Whole CDC

PMU

NSP HQ MIS & M&E Depts

 

Labor Logbook/ register (Form 2)

CDC

PMU

NSP MIS & M&E Depts

Unit for MG

Final reporting (Form 3)

CDC

PMU

NSP MIS & M&E Depts

Unit for MG

2 studies on qualitative aspects at mid-term and closure

NSP M&E Dept

NSP MG Unit

NSP Operations Directorate

NSP Executive Director

 



[1] The key staffing in the PMU will include at least 1 engineer and 1 social mobilizer for every 20 communities and will be located within the same districts that they are assigned to work in.