Indonesia: From cash to vouchers-Piloting a new delivery mechanism for social assistance (E-Warungs)
The Indonesian government has undertaken the pilot a new social assistance delivery modality, moving from a cash transfer system to the distribution of vouchers to lowest-income households. Eligible households to social assistance programmes including the flagship conditional cash transfer programme (Program Keluarga Haprapan PKH), the subsidized-rice programme will get their benefits credited on the vouchers which can be exchanged for food-items at E-warung (e-stalls) managed by the ministry of social affairs. This move aims at improving the programme’s targeting and supervision.
An important feature of the “vouchers modality” is that it constrain beneficiaries’ choices in terms of items purchased and their quantity. This move is thus an important shift as it might impact beneficiaries’ consumption and well-being (items purchased, food security, assets, coping strategies), and programme’s cost, as empirical researches on each modality tends to show.
74 districts/cities have been set as pilot areas and a proper assessment will be needed to evaluate the relative effect of the new modality, its effectiveness and efficiency.
A related press article can be found here