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CCD UKRAINE REGIONAL RESPONSE

OVERVIEW

The ongoing war in Ukraine which began on February 24th, 2022 has left widespread destruction, displacement, and suffering in its wake. Driven by the long-term needs of the Ukrainian population, establishing equitable humanitarian exit strategies, while effectively generating learning to take into other contexts, CCD aims to leverage its collective reach and influence to balance the pressure of spending quickly with spending wisely.

The aim of the CCD’s strategy for the Ukraine Regional Crisis is to build up a smart response that is innovative alongside tried and tested ‘business as usual’ approaches that meet urgent needs. In line with this and CCD’s aim to trial agile context-driven models, the CCD deployed a new collaboration model for the Ukraine regional crisis response involving a double-prong approach.  

  • CCD launched a Shared Services Hub to support and complement members’ responses through brokering and facilitating collaborations, improving operational coordination among members, developing a common voice where necessary and sharing technical capacities/thought leadership in three thematic areas: social protection, data interoperability, and localisation. 

  • Next, the CCD is using contextual factors e.g., healthy funding, capable local capacity, a response that is conducive to cash programming to promote innovation/new approaches where possible. This is the transformation and innovation workstream.

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SHARED SERVICES HUB

The strategic intent of the hub is to support and complement member agencies’ responses through two workstreams:

  1. Facilitation and brokering of NGO and Civil Society collaboration through technical and operational communities of practice, and joint development of response and advocacy strategies.

  2. Thematic technical support and guidance to CCD members across key thematic areas:

    • CVA & Social Protection

    • CVA & Data Interoperability

    • CVA & Localisation

This Shared Services Hub, established in June 2022, is comprised of a full time Collaboration Facilitator as well as a Digital Governance, Localisation Adviser, and a Social Protection. These thematic areas of advisory support were identified by CCD member representatives as adding value to its members and therefore to the wider response.

1. FACILITATION & BROKERING 

COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE

In the Ukraine response, there has been a critical need to establish a facilitated space for technical discussions not occurring elsewhere. Communities of Practice (COPs) were established to build relationships and allow for a safe discussion space for NGOs to exchange ideas and solutions on technical and coordination issues, as well as to agree on collective key advocacy messages together. 

  • In Ukraine, a CCD Community of Practice (COP) skype group has been established, comprising 51 participants from 21 agencies thus far, to build relationships and allow for a safe discussion space for NGOs to exchange on technical and coordination issues, as well as to agree on collective key advocacy messages. Examples of topics include the sharing of beneficiary caseloads between agencies; the need to revise and strengthen the MEB and associated Transfer Values; winterisation planning and targeting; as well as advocacy messages on cash coordination and the inclusion of NGOs in ongoing dialogue on social protection.

  • In Poland, a COP was established for similar reasons and comprises 31 participants from 13 agencies. The CCD has been exceptionally active in the CWG and is building a strong relationship with the co-chairs. CCD member agencies are now leading the targeting task force and the CCD’s social protection adviser is leading a social protection task force. The localisation adviser is also supporting the CWG with unpacking issues in terms of local NGO attendance in coordination structures.

  • In Romania, a COP has also been established comprising 15 participants from 7 agencies. Although a scoping mission to Romania was undertaken in June, there are currently no active CCD workstreams due to smaller funding caseloads and the majority of the MPCA caseload being taken by UNHCR and the Red Cross. The COP remains a safe space for NGO discussion and a further scoping mission will be undertaken towards the end of 2022. Data protection trainings have also been undertaken in Romania for CCD member staff and partners.

 

The CCD will build on its existing Shared Services Strategy to strengthen collaboration and promote collective action within the established community of practices (COPs) and Cash Working Group (CWG) task teams in Ukraine and Poland, to improve joint capacity and efficiency, accountability, transparency, technical soundness, and effectiveness of cash humanitarian responses through joint response strategy development, joint advocacy efforts, technical contributions, sharing of learning and programmatic synergies.

 

2. THEMATIC SUPPORT 

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2. THEMATIC SUPPORT 

DATA GOVERNANCE & COORDINATION

While Ukraine and neighbouring countries have well-developed data and network infrastructure and people generally have high levels of data literacy, the humanitarian response has seen a lack of data protection expertise. There has been limited use of digital platforms, ineffective data management practices, and challenges and delays in inter-agency and government coordination, specifically related to the leadership of registration, deduplication, and interoperability fora as well as guidance and standard operating procedures, among other issues.

Non-compliance with the data protection laws is not only a reputational and financial risk to CCD members but also exposes project participants to risks and harms if their personal data is breached.

The CCD, through World Vision International, has deployed digital and data governance expertise (on the ground and remotely) to support members in the following areas:

  • Digital governance: Explore and support digital governance issues and provide practical assistance, support, capacity, and recommendations for improving issues such as minimum data sets required for registration, deduplication, enrolment, and referrals; data sharing agreements; data sharing models and maintaining data inventories; inclusion of local actors in digital governance; data portability; etc.

  • Digital literacy (responsible data): Build digital literacy beyond technology and across multiple organisations through creating networks of practitioners and practice; conducting digital literacy sessions for project teams; facilitating discussions on key topics and regular refreshers on responsible data practices.

  • Data coordination and advocacy: Participate in coordination forums to reach agreements on data management standards and deduplication that meet the requirements of the CCD Network.

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS 

  • CCD's Digital Governance Adviser (DGA) was elected to co-lead the Poland Cash Working Group deduplication sub-working group

  • The CCD has been instrumental in the finalisation of Data Sharing Agreements and related SOPs within the Poland and Romania Cash Working Groups. 

  • The CCD is actively involved in coordinating input into the Ukraine Cash Working Group SOPs for registration and deduplication, and has volunteered for co-leadership of the Task Team on Registration, Deduplication and Interoperability.

  • Training sessions on data protection principles and practices have also been provided to CCD member agency staff and local partners comprising approximately 250 people across 25 organisations.

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LOCALISATION

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The Ukraine regional response has been largely characterised by local and volunteer-driven efforts, which served as the backbone of the early relief operation but can no longer sustain themselves without external resources. Local actors typically have greater knowledge of context, stakeholder dynamics, social norms, causal relationships, connections between markets and market actors, seasonality, language, conflict dynamics, etc. Through local organisations, CVA programmes can be adapted to local realities, provide timely and more sustainable responses, and amplify the voice of communities in highly vulnerable situations.  

For these reasons, Localisation has been identified as one of the key thematic areas of focus for CCD. The CCD Technical Advisor on Localisation and Capacity Strengthening hosted by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is supporting the response through:

  • Research and analysis: Understanding localisation trends in Ukraine, how CCD/non-CCD (DEC) members perceive “localisation” and what objectives and commitments they have set for achieving objectives; exploring and analysing the existing CVA work of CCD/non-CCD (Ukraine and Poland CoP) members for Ukraine Response (mainly within Ukraine and Poland) to determine ways to best leverage existing programs and localisation opportunities for continued and improved impact; and identifying local actors/partners who deliver CVA to the affected population and understand their needs/gaps and priorities/concerns for localisation.

  • Strategy Development: Advancing ‘localisation commitments’ for Ukraine Response, identifying priorities for CCD to take forward, drafting action plans for prioritizing commitments, and defining concrete activities for addressing the gaps and respective timelines

  • Guidance, liaison and coordination: Providing technical advice and support to CCD member agencies to achieve quality localisation outcomes for Ukraine Response; establishing links and synergies with other existing initiatives and opportunities on localisation and contributing to the development of standards, tools, and best practices in localisation and partner capacity strengthening throughout the Ukraine response; advocating for better and more representative inclusion of local organisation voices and activities as part of the overall CVA response. Finally, supporting implementation of the Localisation Outcome of the new DEC project launched as of January 2023 for the Ukraine response to pilot 4 different localisation models in close cooperation with and involvement of local organisations partnering with implementing CCD agencies and facilitating cross-agency learning and exchange on localisation and equitable partnership models.

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS 

  • Findings from a localisation survey among Ukraine CoP members that included 22 questions on localisation objectives and commitments of agencies, types of their local partners, funding levels, capacity strengthening efforts for local partners and existing gaps, coordination structures and learning around localisation models; and bilateral meetings with CCD core team and member agencies (14 agencies – up to 20 meetings with several reps, mainly cash and partnership FPs) incorporated into ‘Localisation in Practice – Case of Ukraine’.

  • Localisation Workshop for Ukraine CoP member agencies facilitated to discuss the findings and trends on localisation in Ukraine and initiated prioritizing of CCD localisation commitments with the set indicators for measuring the progress. Final Commitments document disseminated for commenting and identifying the targets for each KPIs.

  • Local partner mapping of CCD agencies conducted and compiled 

  • Focus on Due Diligence Passporting among CCD CoP members to discuss existing challenges and interest of agencies to get engaged in the process. Online Survey developed and disseminated to understand and plan the way forward.

  • Scoping mission convened in Poland with a focus on localisation to explore existing partnership models and localisation trends, determine in-depth barriers and challenges as well as opportunities for enhancing support to local actors. Mission report developed and disseminated among Poland CoP.

SOCIAL PROTECTION

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The CCD Social Protection Technical Advisor plays a leading role in supporting CCD members’ operations in Ukraine and Poland by facilitating links between humanitarian CVA and national social protection systems, with a view to improving coordination, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of the response. The Social Protection Technical Advisor provides expert advice to CCD member agencies that promotes an integrated approach combining financial support with other locally available or complementary interventions to better meet the various non-income related needs of individuals and families supported by CCD members (referred to as ‘Cash Plus’).

  • CCD is assessing capacity building requirements of CCD agencies and their partners on social protection with a view to refining and socialising the CCD framework for ‘Responding to Shocks using Social Protection’ among CCD agencies operating in the Ukraine response and other responses as agreed.

  • An understanding of government social protection schemes is being developed in Ukraine and Poland, and the Social Protection Adviser is providing recommendations, insights and engagement with CCD agencies and partners on opportunities for how best to support and align with inclusive and accountable social protection mechanisms.

 

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS 

  • Workshops led within the CoP to identify a harmonised way forward for NGOs seeking to link their humanitarian operations to social protection systems in Poland. 

  • The Social Protection Advisor is the elected lead of the Poland Cash Working Group Social Protection Task Force.

  • A statement on NGO capacity and vision on social protection in Ukraine is currently being developed to enable improved NGO participation in ongoing social protection dialogue between UN agencies, the government, and donors.

  • Engagement with donors, leading a donor-government-UN initiative to operationalize humanitarian MPCA and SRSP linkages in Ukraine, on the value add of NGOs in linking humanitarian cash with social protection systems which secured a strategic space for INGOs and NNGOS within the initiative’s steering committee (decision making body).

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TRANSFORMATION & INNOVATION

Under this aspect of the strategy, the CCD will test new approaches, deliver pilots to generate proof of concept and develop scalable models. The delivery will be done through member agencies and the CCD will provide oversight and leadership to ensure the programme is delivered according to plan and to the design created by the CCD.  The primary driver behind this programme and the various pilots is to generate practical, real-time learning and build evidence to inform a more accountable, collaborative, and locally driven response to the Ukraine Crisis, and understand what successful approaches and practices can be scaled and/or adapted for other contexts.

CCD has secured DEC funding for a project focused on five key areas: 

  • Localisation: The CCD and SC, along with their partners (DCA, AAH and SC Ukraine,) will deliver a pilot programme to strengthen the capacities of local actors in Ukraine and neighbouring countries, which will be implemented alongside the existing Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) response operations of the project partners in Ukraine, Poland, and Romania. The pilot will select local/national NGO partners, community groups, and local government ministries and agencies, based on set criteria, to provide institutional and technical capacity building, and direct funding to design and implement CVA programmes. SC and partners will collaborate with each other under the supervision of CCD throughout the programme cycle to ensure best practice in partnerships is deployed to pilot distinct models of disintermediation and local actor-led CVA response and capture systematic learning with the goal of scaling the tested models in Ukraine or in other humanitarian crises around the world.

 

  • Data Portability: WVI, through existing consortia comprising CCD member agencies, will implement a data portability pilot in Ukraine aimed at shifting control of personal data back to aid recipients so they can make informed decisions about how, when and with whom to share their personal data for humanitarian assistance. This pilot will build the necessary technology, digital literacy, community engagement, etc. to test a data portability model for referrals between agencies for service provision. The evidence and learning from this pilot will be used to inform the data portability roadmap being developed by CCD and its collaboration partners, DIGID, funded by ECHO.

  • User Journey Mapping: CCD and SC will work with Ground Truth Solutions (GTS) to conduct a longitudinal study of the experiences and perceptions of recipients and applicants of cash assistance in Ukraine. The study aims to ensure that beneficiaries of cash programming (humanitarian and state-provided social protection support) drive improvements to these programmes in real-time, and strengthen them in the long term, based on their voices, feedback and experience in identifying the gaps in the CVA response, and to facilitate recommendations for programme adaptations.

  • Collaboration: CCD agencies continue to build on their collaboration within the established community of practices and Cash Working Group task teams, to strengthen joint capacity and to improve the efficiency, accountability, transparency, technical soundness and effectiveness of cash humanitarian responses through joint advocacy efforts, technical contributions, sharing of learning and programmatic synergies.

  • Learning: Cross-cutting across all project objectives is a learning component that will leverage the new and ongoing work being done in localisation, data portability, user journeys and collaboration to gather key lessons and learning to inform cash programming within Ukraine and globally. An overarching learning agenda for the programme frames the key questions CCD seeks to contribute to answering through this programme.  

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