Afghanistan has been in protracted conflict for almost 40 years, which continues to take a heavy toll on its population. In 2019, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) recorded 463,104 newly internally displaced people due to conflict and 306,499 people affected by natural disaster. With no immediate improvement in sight, the humanitarian community estimated 9.4 million people to be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2020, a fourth of Afghanistan’s population.
To ensure a rapid response to urgent humanitarian needs, the Emergency Response Mechanism (ERM) was established in 2011 and funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Organisation (ECHO), providing Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA) and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in-kind assistance to recently displaced and/or shock-affected populations through a coordinated network of aid organisations across Afghanistan. In order to ensure accountability and maintain an evidence-driven response, the ERM requires consistent monitoring and evaluation throughout the project cycle. To this end, REACH joined the ERM as a non-implementing Information Management (IM) partner. As part of this role, REACH conducted three nation-wide post-distribution monitoring (PDM) rounds in 2019 and early 2020, aimed at assessing the quality and impact of the ERM MPCA, strengthening accountability to beneficiaries, and identifying aspects for future improvement in the response.
The PDM rounds relied on structured household surveys, with data collected across three rounds in September 2019, January 2020, and March 2020. The randomly assessed samples consisted of households that had received ERM MPCA in the 30 to 60 days prior to data collection. Interviews were conducted remotely and responses were recorded digitally on smartphones using the Kobo Toolbox application. The assessment was stratified for urban/rural households and findings are generalisable to the wider ERM beneficiary population, with a 95% level of confidence and 5% margin of error, per strata.