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  • Writer's pictureDhyan

New study published: People's perspectives of Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance in East Lombok

This study is a follow-up to our 2019 study, working with UNICEF, on post-disaster Multi-

Participatory focus group discussion with mothers in one of the study communities

Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA) in Central Sulawesi and North Lombok. The study built on the tools and learning from the 2019 study while also adding baseline and endline components along with a survey to complement the qualitative insights. The MPCA program in East Lombok provided cash assistance in nine villages to pregnant women and families with children under 7 years of age. The study explored how people’s livelihoods were affected by the 2018 earthquake, along with COVID-19, how people perceived the MPCA assistance including the assistance process and mechanism, how families spent the money, and the impacts that it had on their lives.

UNICEF initiated the study as part of ongoing learning about the use of cash in emergencies and more generally in an effort to strengthen and promote Adaptive Social Protection in Indonesia. As the COVID-19 pandemic hit Indonesia right as the first disbursements were starting in some of the East Lombok communities, this also provided an opportunity to more directly compare MPCA beneficiary experiences to those receiving the government’s COVID-19-related social assistance.

The arrival of COVID-19 also meant that we had to adjust the study methodology from our initial plan to help ensure the safety for both study participants and our research team. Following an initial pause in the fieldwork, our team had discussions with the UNICEF team in Jakarta, UNICEF field staff, and village leaders in East Lombok in July of 2020 about the feasibility of re-starting the fieldwork (MPCA disbursements were also paused from April to mid-July). At this point we also developed our COVID-19 field protocols and after receiving the go-ahead from UNICEF and the East Lombok government, our research team took to the field for what would be Empatika’s first experience conducting fieldwork during the pandemic (you can read more about these initial experiences in this post).

Check out the full report and research brief on the Our Work page.

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