A key component of the GESS programme is to encourage enrolment and retention of girls by providing Cash Transfers to girls in education. Cash Transfers are direct payments made to girls enrolled in, and regularly attending, school. These cash grants help girls to buy things they need in order to attend school, and contribute to poverty reduction in the family and the community.
Why provide Cash Transfers to girls and their families?
During our consultations with girls, families, communities and government officials, poverty was cited as a principal barrier to girls’ education. In South Sudan, just over 10% of school-age girls start primary school at the correct age and, of those, the majority will not complete their education. In 2016, 128,000 girls started primary school, but only 2,700 completed secondary school. GESS Cash Transfers aim to reduce the economic barriers to girls enrolling in school and staying in school, by offsetting some of the direct and indirect financial barriers to education, which can be the most prohibitive factors to the enrolment and retention of girls.
Who is eligible to receive a Cash Transfer?
All girls in the eligible year groups of P5 to S4 enrolled in and regularly attending school. In 2018, at the end of five years, the programme aims to have reached 200,000 individual girls: at end of 2016, 184,254 unique girls had received a Cash Transfer throughout the length of the GESS programme.
What are the requirements for receiving a Cash Transfer?
Payments are conditional on enrolment and attendance recorded on Ana Fi Inni, the South Sudan School Attendance and Monitoring System (SSSAMS). Recipients will need to submit the Cash Transfer Enrolment Form (CTEF) and another form of identification, such as a nationality identity card or passport, or a simple letter from their Boma Chief in case they do not possess a formal ID.
How much will each girl receive?
In 2014, each girl received 125 SSP. In 2015, the amount increased to 320 SSP, to reflect the reduced value of the currency. The rate for 2016 was 2,300SSP to reflect high levels of inflation. In 2017 GESS is providing 2,900 SSP to each validated schoolgirl enrolled in and attending classes from Primary 5 through to Secondary 4.
How will payments be executed?
Cash Transfers are paid out at schools, directly to the girls themselves.
When will payments be made?
Cash Transfers are made as quickly as they can be after enrolment and verification: in 2016, the first payments were made in October.
What about results?
All girls in P5-S4 who are regularly attending school are eligible for a once-yearly cash payment. 184,254 individual girls have received a Cash Transfer. By the time the project ends in 2018 it is expected that around 200,000 individual girls will have benefited from at least one Cash Transfer, and half a million payments will have been made.
Research suggests that they are already beginning to have a positive impact. A survey carried out in September 2015 by Forcier Consulting showed that it was consistently the case that the intended recipient girl had received the Cash Transfer, received the full amount, and in almost every case had been able to spend the money herself, typically on education-enabling items. The findings also suggest that girls who receive Cash Transfers remain in school longer and attend school more frequently than the historic norm. A rigorous independent analysis by Lee Crawfurd (University of Sussex & Center for Global Development) on the impact of GESS 2014- 2016, based on the national SSSAMS data set, found that Capitation Grants and Cash Transfers make schools more likely to remain open, increase their enrolment numbers, and increase attendance rates, despite the prevalence of substantial ongoing levels of violence and confict.
Common items the girls spend their transfers on include books, clothing and sanitary items, all of which allow them to attend school more regularly, and which better prepare them for studying. Speaking about the impact the transfer has had on her life, student Rhoda says “some of our parents are poor and cannot afford to buy us what we need”, and therefore receiving the money “gave me freedom” and meant she was less reliant on her parents for essential school items.
For further information on eligibility, processes and requirement, or to make a comment, compliment or complaint, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the support line at (+211) 0954610303.