Beneficiary perceptions and attitudes in Fiji : facilitating migration from paper-based to electronic benefit distribution
reportposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Jonathan Sibley
There are currently in excess of 27,000 people receiving government funded social assistance in Fiji. The social assistance programs are managed by the Department of Social Welfare. Recipients of social assistance encompass a broad range of social groups (including inter alia the elderly, the disabled and chronically ill, and single parents). The number of people receiving social assistance is steadily increasing. Beneficiaries live in a range of locations across Fiji. However, the majority of beneficiaries live on Viti Levu. Since 2007, the Department of Social Welfare has been seeking to encourage beneficiaries to change from the current voucher encashment system to a bank account based (electronic) benefit payment system. The study found there are no major constraints to the migration of beneficiaries from the receipt of the benefit by paper based voucher encashment to receipt of the benefit by payment to a bank account. The principal constraint is beneficiary inertia which is re-enforced by the structure of the voucher encashment system. This has caused voucher encashment to become a habit for many beneficiaries.