A more inclusive social payments system

Social Protection

Monthly cash payments for a better start to life

Jerasaun Foun is an initiative of the Timor-Leste Government designed to help children to have the best possible start to life.

The new social protection program aims to improve national nutrition, health, education and poverty outcomes through the delivery of a monthly cash payment to pregnant women and parents of children 0- 6 years old.

In a first for Timor-Leste, the program offers an additional allowance to families of children with disabilities to support their specialised needs.

Registrations for the program have begun in the three municipalities with the highest combined rates of poverty and childhood malnutrition; Ainaro, Bobonaro and Oecusse. The program will be gradually expanded nationally.

Pregnant women and families with children 0-3 are eligible to register for the cash payment. Payments are made monthly and continue until children reach 6 years of age.

Catalpa developed the digital platform supporting Jerasaun Foun off the back of a successful COVID-related cash payments program. Both programs were designed in close partnership with the Ministry of Social Solidarity and Inclusion, marking the beginning of a transition from the pre-existing manual paper system.

The new fit-for-purpose system is demonstrating how thoughtful technology design and implementation can transform enrolment processes even in rural and remote areas, enabling communities to receive fast and efficient government assistance.

Registration officers received training to use tablets to capture the enrolment information.

Registration officers were recruited to register women and families using tablet devices at health posts across the three municipalities. They received hands-on training, ensuring they could effectively capture the required eligibility and enrollment information so payments could be approved.

The platform captures registration data in real-time when connected to the internet, but has also been designed for effective use in the many areas of Timor-Leste with unreliable connectivity. In these remote locations, the platform allows offline data input which is automatically queued to sync when a connection is reestablished.

Over 10,000 registration applications were approved in the two months from program launch.

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