Framework for mitigation of weaknesses in the processing of direct cash transfers: A case of UNICEF Uganda
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This study was set out to examine the weakness in the processing of Direct Cash Transfers (DCT) using UNICEF Uganda as a case study. The study specifically concentrated on identifying system stages where there are noticeable delays in the process of DCT payment after which mitigation measures were suggested and a matrix in form of proposed changes to FACE Form was developed. The study used descriptive research design, and a case study of UNICEF Uganda country office. Purposive sampling was used while selecting study respondents who were administered with an online questionnaire. The response rate was 87% considering the time factor, other non - responses were not followed up. Secondary data in form of payment documents was used to identify points of payment process where significant delays occur relative to the standard processing timelines. It was found that worst delays occur internally within UNICEF where it takes an average of six days between when a FACE is received to when it is signed as Certified by the Program Officer. It takes an average of ten working days between FACE Certification and FACE approval, and an average of nine working days between FACE approval and System generated payment request approval. UNICEF staff confirmed that DCT payment documents sometimes stay on their desk for more than 3 days. The study recommends use of an online FACE Form /DCT Payment tracking dashboard to reduce delays. The study also proposes a simple modification of the FACE form as a matrix to mitigate delays in DCT Payment processing.