Please find below the
On the whole a well-organized and logical project plan with reasonable objectives, and an audacious follow-up plan, should the pilot succeed, for taking the mechanism to a scale that would make a significant difference for opening access to financial risk management instruments for the most vulnerable. A possible weakness is in perhaps overselling the ability of the proposed blockchain approach to developing a dynamic registry to make insurance more gender-sensitive. Even if cash transfers are delivered to more women more efficiently, it will remain to be seem whether positive impacts can be ascertained for the women specifically targeted as beneficiaries as a result of the blockchain-facilitated intervention. This is adequately addressed through a learning by doing approach. A related area that is perhaps not adequately considered is whether the system can be robust to coordinated manipulation - what if local culture dictates that men control the use of funds received by their wives? - what if a farmers' coop decided to game the system to co-verify each others' information in order to increase payout of benefits?
The proposal is innovative in terms of introducing new technology to improve targeting of social protection programs. Flexible targeting is indeed a key element if social protection programs are to deliver on resilience outcomes. However, the use of the flexible targeting for climate risk insurance products is not clear. Moreover, strictly speaking the proposal does not meet objective of the contest in terms of linking social protection with climate risk insurance. The proposal would have benefited from selection of specific social protection and climate risk insurance schemes (instead of keeping it open to two countries) and demonstrating how improved targeting could help both the schemes.
Thank you very much for your proposal to our contest. Our judges have selected your proposal to advance to the Semi-Finalists round. For the revision phase, we would like to provide you with some feedback from the judges that should help you improve your proposal and address open questions for the finalist round:
The judges feel that using blockchain type technology for registry, eligibility tracking and verification as well as for delivery of information / cash transfers is an idea whose time is now. Nonetheless, they identified several areas that would benefit from revision and further detail. As a general remark, the proposal would benefit from better explaining how the social protection registry will be linked with insurance mechanisms in detail.
Moreover, judges noticed that the proposal lacks a discussion on what is the purpose of the digital structure, i.e.: What is the policy or operational challenges/gap that this ICT technology would help to address? What exactly does the registry intend to capture and how does it work? With regard to the potential pilot countries Malawi and Kenya, what is still missing is a specific review or assessment of gaps in terms of the existing registries, which the proposed technology could help to address.
Judges also noted that the title mentions gender sensitivity – however, the proposal does not elaborate further on how the gender aspect will be integrated in the project. A more explicit link and illustration of this aspect would benefit the proposal.
A few additional remarks to take into account:
• The proposal would benefit from addressing potential trade-offs of the mechanism (e.g. citizen rights)
• The proposal builds on many assumptions (e.g. existing framework to build on / existing local buy-in / etc.) and leave questions open about how these will be ensured or what the implications are if these assumptions are not met.
• Please provide more details on the implementing partners of this proposal.
• Please also review feasibility of the proposed budget.
Judges perceived the suggested 'trusted crowd-source' verification methodology as the potentially breakthrough innovation this project could contribute. At the same time, they felt that the peer review mechanism might be a fairly optimistic assessment of the reality. To further develop this idea, they suggest looking into TASAF, Tanzania's national social protection program, which has used community verification of participation to monitor adherence to conditions as a way to manage eligibility.
Please note also that, as semi-finalists to the contest, you are requested to provide a detailed budget for the spending of the seed funding (40,000 euros) that the team winning the Judge’s choice award will be granted for the implementation of their proposal.
Good luck and all the best,
The contest fellows
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