In 2013 the Senegalese Government through its office of Social Protection and National Solidarity was looking for a partner to distribute funds from its National Family Security Scholarship Programme – a cash transfer programme, which aims to contribute to the fight against the vulnerability and social exclusion of families in the country.The government needed a partner it could trust, one that the citizens trust, and one with an expansive reach. In stepped the national postal operator, La Poste Senegal, and for nearly a decade the Post has paid out funds to approximately 300,000 beneficiaries four times a year. The funds help poor and marginalized families with expenses related to the schooling and healthcare of children, which in turn helps improve broader family wellbeing.
La Poste Senegal was chosen as the government’s implementation partner due to its broad network and the fact that it is a trusted institution among the Senegalese people.
Salah Eddine Kobar, Director in charge of Mandates and Transfers at La Poste Senegal, heads up the project. He says, “La Poste operates a network of 300 offices, which enable it to be present throughout the national territory. It is the only structure to be found in several localities, even rural locations.”
Kobar notes that payments are made in cash to eligible families via the Post’s financial services subsidiary, Postefinances. “We use an electronic platform, which is available throughout our entire network,” he explains. “This enables us to keep track of all payment data and receipts at all post offices.”
One of the things that makes this project unique is that the funds are paid directly to the female head of the household. “The payments are initially intended to support the schooling of the children of the beneficiary families, and it is believed that women are better able to manage these funds. The issue of gender equality is taken seriously in Senegal and these funds also contribute to empowering women.”
According to the UPU, the project directly supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals related to gender equality (Goal 5), education (SDG 4), poverty (SDG 1) and inequality (SDG 10).
By offering this service, La Poste Senegal also benefits from additional revenue and increased customer satisfaction. “We receive commission on the services we provide for the government, so projects like this are a good source of income for the Post. In addition, as people come to the post office to collect their money, they also get a chance to familiarise themselves with La Poste better, which helps build our brand.
“In addition to the National Family Security Scholarship Programme, we have also worked with other government ministries on the response to the COVID-19 crisis by paying out aid to beneficiaries affected by the disease. And we have participated in the payment of 20,000 agents involved in the general population census,” Kobar concludes.