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Results-Based Financing in Housing

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Results-Based Financing in Housing

  1. 1. PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM Using Results-Based Financing to Provide Durable Housing Solutions to Refugees and IDPs Ukraine Brendan Moroso August 2015
  2. 2. 2 “The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” -Maya Angelou
  3. 3. 3 Table of Contents Table of Contents ..................................................................................................................................... 3 Acknowledgements .................................................................................................................................. 4 Executive Summary .................................................................................................................................. 5 Introduction ............................................................................................................................................. 7 Methodology ............................................................................................................................................ 8 Part I: Background .................................................................................................................................... 9 Housing & Population Context ............................................................................................................. 9 Internally Displaced Persons .............................................................................................................. 10 Current Responses ............................................................................................................................. 13 Along the Line of Contact ............................................................................................................... 13 Collective Centers ........................................................................................................................... 14 Cash for Rent .................................................................................................................................. 15 Government ................................................................................................................................... 15 Looking Forward ................................................................................................................................. 16 Response Best Practices & Lessons Learned ...................................................................................... 17 PART II: Opportunities for Results-Based Financing ............................................................................... 19 Results-Based Financing ..................................................................................................................... 19 Background ..................................................................................................................................... 19 Indicators ........................................................................................................................................ 19 Use in Housing ................................................................................................................................ 20 Possible Indicators .......................................................................................................................... 21 Applicability to Ukrainian Context ...................................................................................................... 23 The Need to Act ............................................................................................................................. 23 Intervention Scope ......................................................................................................................... 23 Construction and Financing ............................................................................................................ 23 Rental Approach ............................................................................................................................. 24 Challenges .......................................................................................................................................... 25 Overall Challenges .......................................................................................................................... 25 Ukraine-Specific Challenges ........................................................................................................... 26 Summary ................................................................................................................................................ 28 Conclusion .............................................................................................................................................. 29 Glossary of Terms ................................................................................................................................... 30 Table of Figures ...................................................................................................................................... 31 Organizations Interviewed ..................................................................................................................... 32 References .............................................................................................................................................. 33
  4. 4. 4 Acknowledgements This project was made possible by funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development, and by FHI360, the implementing partner for the Ukrainian Public-Private Partnership Development Program (P3DP). I would like to thank Elina Sarkisova for her numerous contributions, and for her fellowship throughout this project; Chris Shugart and Mick Mullay for initiating this research; and the numerous experts who contributed their time and thoughts to assure the best information went into this report. I would also like to thank Sofia Redford for her many hours spent dedicated to this project.
  5. 5. 5 Executive Summary For the second time in thirty years Ukraine finds itself dealing with hundreds of thousands of her citizens, in a rolling instant, suddenly without a home. While a communist government was previously able to address the needs of those left homeless by the Chernobyl disaster, those affected by the current conflict now rely on a limited government, the international community and the free market to provide solutions. The problem is this: Most Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have decided never to return to the homes they once owned.1 Many now live in overcrowded rental accommodations, paid for with the dwindling savings they managed to bring with them. Meanwhile, the most vulnerable live in two hundred and fifty collective centers, intended as temporary solutions that are now becoming permanent ghettos.2 IDPs are looking for homes and livelihoods with which to restart their lives in the cities of western Ukraine. The longer they look, the more they lose hope. Ukraine’s construction industry has the capacity to build affordable homes for these people. However, with an economy wracked by double-digit recession and triple-digit inflation, and banks collapsing two- a-week, there is no financing to enable them to do so.3 While the ultimate solution to meet these housing challenges is controlled inflation, a recovered economy and a successful mortgage market, these are a long way off. In order to prevent a generation from becoming entrenched in wretchedness, or adding to the number of those migrating to the European Union for salvation, a response to more than just the immediate crisis is necessary. That response should include Results-Based Financing. Since 2010, Results-Based Financing (RBF) has grown in popularity as a tool used by the development community to achieve the outcomes they want. Rather than focusing on how money gets spent, this new approach focuses on what that money accomplishes. From London to India, the US to Colombia, RBF has been used to improve failing services. However, while it has successfully achieved better results for citizens and their governments, the use of RBF in addressing issues faced by refugees, IDPs and other conflict affected populations is relatively untested. Additionally, most RBF has tended to focus on areas such as, Maternal Health, Water and Sanitation Health (WASH), or Homelessness, with no significant pilots as yet in the housing sector. However, given the successes that RBF projects have experienced with other populations and in other sectors, it is necessary to explore whether a RBF project focused on housing displaced peoples could provide unique additional value to the response in Ukraine. Despite a number of challenges present, 1 Consultant Interviews (2015) 2 UNHCR Shelter Cluster (2015) 3 Consultant Interview (2015)
  6. 6. 6 taken as a whole RBF does provide an innovative alternative within the housing sector and will likely be part of the aid agency’s toolkit in years to come. Refugees and IDPs require durable solutions to the housing challenges they face in Ukraine and beyond, and Results-Based Financing, while not a cure-all, represents a new and powerful tool in the response.
  7. 7. 7 Introduction Results-Based Financing projects, such as Social Impact Bonds, Pay-For-Success or other Results-Based methods, are united by their use of a financing mechanism where at least a portion of funding is tied to results. These approaches can be uniquely suited to finding durable solutions because payments are not focused on inputs, but on outcomes. This allows those who are most informed and most impacted, local individuals and companies, to make risk and value decisions about how to achieve those outcomes, which in turn gets more value from international donors’ precious funds while catalyzing markets to achieve those results in the most efficient and economic way possible. Traditional housing responses are littered with examples of interventions that focused on product rather than process, on outputs rather than outcomes. Examples include cash payments that lasted only as long as the outside world’s attention, housing parks built on donated land, far from cities and jobs, that were never occupied, and expensive housing options that were developed but unaffordable, helping the well-off but missing the targeted population. This paper will do the following: ● Provide an in depth explanation of the housing situation as experienced by IDPs in Ukraine, up to the summer of 2015. ● Outline characteristics present that will impact an RBF project. ● Provide sample payment-triggering indicators tailored to the housing market. ● Highlight some of the challenges and opportunities of an RBF housing project. The general findings, while focused on the situation in Ukraine, are not exclusive to that context. They provide new information and lessons for all situations where governments and donors seek to better address the housing needs of refugees and IDPs. Furthermore, they also represent a high level analysis of the role that Results-Based Financing can play to bridge the gap between immediate humanitarian responses and longer-term development results.
  8. 8. 8 Methodology The first draft of this paper was initially completed in the summer of 2015 as part of a USAID project focused on public-private partnership development in Ukraine. As part of the research, interviews were conducted with 14 experts from various NGOs, governments, and international organizations working on issues of Ukraine and housing. This draft includes a revised introduction and conclusion, which aim to provide greater detail on how Results-Based Financing interventions can be applied to refugee and IDP populations in other contexts outside Ukraine. Since initial publication, predictions about the course of the conflict have thus far proved correct. As of the end of October 2015, it was being reported that “there seems little chance that the east might be re- integrated into the rest of Ukraine without a change of government in Moscow. So the chances are that a so-called ‘frozen conflict’ may persist, where the fighting is at a low level, but the threat of escalation remains.”4 Disclaimer: The views expressed in this report are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect those of the US Government or the implementing partner. 4 Burridge (2015)
  9. 9. 9 Part I: Background Housing & Population Context For historical reasons relating to the impact of communism, Ukraine’s housing market is incredibly unique. In seeking to examine the role that Results-Based Financing (RBF) can play in providing durable solutions to the challenges faced by IDPs in the housing sector, it is first necessary to understand these singular attributes. The dissolution of the USSR and the end of communism in Ukraine can still be felt today in many parts of Ukraine’s housing sector: Laws from the era of communism remain on the books; Khrushchev era apartment projects, know as “Chruschtschowkas”, dominate the skyline and; according to official records, nearly 95% of all homes are owner occupied, a relic from the transition to a market economy when home ownership was transferred from the government to the occupant. Since independence in 1991, the population of Ukraine has decreased by over six million people, or 12%.5 This is the result of both emigration and declining birth rates, both of which reveal a general gloom about the country’s situation.6 This decrease has left a sizable portion (3%) of Ukraine’s housing stock unoccupied. However, this stock tends to be in rural areas where economic poverty has been advancing at a rate of 0.5% a year since independence (see Figure 1 below). Percentage of Population in Poverty 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Nationally 27.8 26.4 27.2 27.2 26.6 27.3 27.1 28.1 27.3 27.0 Rural Population 29.2 28.7 32.2 34.4 36.7 35.0 35.2 38.4 37.9 38.2 Urban Population 27.1 25.4 24.7 23.6 21.5 23.5 23.2 23.0 22.1 21.5 Figure 1: Growing disparity between urban and rural wealth. 7 As Figure 1 illustrates, while rural populations decline, cities are rising as centers of economic opportunity. In the face of this economic pull, there has been a large migration to cities, and as of 2012 almost 70% of Ukrainians live in urban areas, with nearly a quarter living in the five largest cities.8 Even before the current conflict, Ukraine’s economic epicenter had been moving West. The industries that supported the Donbas region during the communist days, namely metallurgy and aerospace, dried up after the fall of the USSR. Decreasing economic opportunities led people to abandon the region. 5 UNECE (2013) 6 UNECE (2013) 7 UNECE (2013) 8 UNECE (2013)
  10. 10. 10 While Kyiv's population expanded, all of the East’s cities saw their population decrease by 13% - 16% in the period after independence.9 As mentioned previously, official records show that 95% of all homes are owner occupied. This is the result of the end of communism, when residences were privatized and became the property of those who were living in them at the time. However, this number obscures the truth. While official records state that only 3.4% of housing is currently associated with rental agreements, the informal rental market is in truth much larger. Experts estimate that between 13% and 30% of Ukrainians are currently renting their homes.10 Regardless of these unofficial numbers, for historical reasons the cultural expectation in Ukraine is that people own their homes outright. Renters, if they rent for five years or more, by virtue of this fact are considered to be vulnerable populations by the government11 and entitled to social assistance programs. However, these programs vastly underperform. There are currently over a million state-identified vulnerable households entitled to government help, and the expected wait time for assistance is over 100 years.12 Moreover, Ukraine’s housing stock is past its prime. 42% was built before 1960 with a planned lifetime of 25 years. Estimates are that up to 10% of Ukraine’s housing stock is dilapidated and in need of repair or replacement.13 Under these conditions one would expect that the construction industry would be booming. However, the global economic crisis and subsequent economic troubles have left the industry struggling to respond to paralyzed financial markets. Housing output is only one-third of the regional norm. Demand for new, affordable housing is extremely strong, however the supply is far outpaced due to a lack of financial tools to support the market. Residential construction therefore is financed mostly from the pre- construction sale of housing units, which means that most new construction is only available to wealthy customers who can pay cash upfront, leaving no beneficial impact on the overall market. Simply put, the financial mechanisms and stability necessary for a normal construction market don’t exist. Internally Displaced Persons Following the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014, fighting broke out in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine (Donetsk and Luhansk) between Russian sponsored armed groups and Ukrainian government forces. This, in combination with the Russian annexation of Crimea, led to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens fleeing their homes in search of safety and shelter. 9 UNECE (2013) 10 Amman (2015) 11 UNECE (2013) 12 UNECE (2013) 13 UNECE (2013)
  11. 11. 11 Of the 5.2 million people impacted by the crisis, approximately 1.4 million have registered as internally displaced persons (IDPs) with the Ministry of Social Policy as of June 2015.14 However, evidence from local authorities and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) suggest that these numbers paint an incomplete picture of the actual situation, with some estimates indicating that there are as many as 1.8 million IDPs.15 The UNHCR’s Shelter Cluster has targeted 473,000 people for housing assistance, for which it estimates 82 million USD will be needed.16 Until now the primary focus of assistance has been to provide emergency relief, in the form of supplies, cash assistance, and collective centers where people can seek refuge. However, with the crisis entering its 18th month, groups involved with the response are starting to think about infrastructure and what should be done to address the evolving needs of IDPs and society in the long term. Discussions have already begun at the NGO level with regards to contingency plans and a comprehensive strategy, but they will require a government response in order to be deemed effective over the medium and long term. Moreover, no two IDPs have the same search for “adequate housing” - the current accepted term put forward to replace “shelter.”17 However, there are some broad categories that highlight common circumstances. These distinctions show how different interventions can be expected to impact these different categories of individuals (Figure 2). Population Characteristics Comments IDP Displaced from place of origin May have experienced multiple displacements. Conflict-Affected Population Non-displaced, dwelling damaged Addressing shelter needs may reduce likelihood of additional displacements. Host Community Non-displaced, dwelling not damaged According to local context the living conditions of host communities similar to IDPs Returnees (sustainable return) Formerly displaced, dwelling uncertain Return process may induce direct expenditure (repairs if house is damaged) “Commuters” Frequent displacement between several dwellings Population commuting across the contact line might need. temporary base instead of durable solution Figure 2: Table of different populations related to displaced persons. 18 14 UNHRC Shelter Cluster (2015) 15 Misto Reform and Consultant Interviews (2015) 16 Ukraine Humanitarian Country Team (2015) 17 Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (2015) 18 UNHCR Shelter Cluster (2015)
  12. 12. 12 Figure 3: Map showing the UNHCR’s data on IDPs in Ukraine as of June 8, 2015. 19 Figure 3 shows that the great majority of IDPs (77%) are registered in the five most eastern oblasts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk. Those registered in Donetsk and Luhansk, while officially registered as IDPs, may also fall into one of the other categories outlined above. Leaving those two regions out, the primary destination for IDPs are Kharkiv and the capital, Kyiv. A recent REACH report in to the disposition of IDPs presented the following information: ● 60% of IDPs live in rented apartments or housings, 4/5ths without a formal contract. ● 70% of IDPs report rents below UAH 2000, or $80 per month, far below market value. This is due to their rental of summer homes, rural units or shared apartments. ● 20% of IDPs are hosted by family or friends ● 80% left behind owner-occupied apartments, now worth much less. In the meantime, 90% of all IDPs are staying in urban private accommodation. This has lead to a growing concern of the pendulum effect - IDPs experiencing an increased risk of eviction as the conflict drags on and their personal resources run out, leaving them no option but to return to collective centers or their homes in the conflict zone. In a few short months, the conflict has erased a million jobs, wiped away 19 UNHCR Shelter Cluster (2015)
  13. 13. 13 personal savings and obliterated property-stored value for most IDPs. For these reasons it is unlikely that a cessation of hostilities will end the plight of Ukraine’s IDPs. Current Responses It is in the context of the above circumstances that the current response is taking place. As previously mentioned that response has, until now, mainly focused on emergency measures. Along the Line of Contact A handful of international aid agencies, coordinated by the UNHCR’s Shelter and Non-Food Items Cluster, have been working tirelessly to provide ameliorative measures to all whose access to shelter has been impacted by the conflict. Figure 4: Donbas residential structure, partly damaged by shelling. Image courtesy of Kyiv Post. Along the line of contact this means providing material resources, specifically plastic sheeting, to enable light and medium repairs to damaged houses, with the aim of keeping conflict-affected populations in their homes. Those whose homes have been irreparably damaged are occasionally able to use the homes of neighbors who have chosen to move away from from the line of contact but are interested in having someone take care of their home in their absence.20 20 Consultant Interview (2015)
  14. 14. 14 In places where the ravages of the conflict seem to have passed, NGOs are providing more permanent material resources - cement, brick, corrugated roofing panels, and wood. With these supplies people are able to make permanent repairs to their homes. One NGO reports that, of the nearly thousand homes they have provided with supplies for repairs, only six have been re-damaged by shelling.21 Finding able bodied people to carry out repairs, even in areas where the conflict is deemed to have passed, has proven difficult. For this reason, a focus of the current response has included a cash for work program to enable the elderly and disabled to pay for the labor necessary to carry out repairs.22 Collective Centers For those who have moved further from the line of contact, there are a number of interventions currently being provided by the government and international NGO community. For the most vulnerable populations, and those coming directly from the conflict area, collective centers have been set up to provide the most basic level of shelter. These centers are often in rural or remote areas and were re-purposed from their previous use as summer camps, sanatoriums, or similar government buildings. Research shows that approximately 10% of all IDPs are currently housed in collective centers.23 These buildings were not intended or ideally designed for use as year round homes. Many were summer camps and therefore not insulated or heated for winter use. Nearly all require the use of shared sleeping quarters and bathroom facilities. Most significantly, many are located far away from cities and the employment prospects available there. This leaves their inhabitants unable to find work or resume a normal life. Instead, they are almost entirely dependent on aid. This situation causes negative psychological effects, in addition to those already sustained in the conflict zone. An MSNA study has shown that compared with IDPs in other shelter arrangements, those in collective centers report higher concerns in terms of food and health, and of children showing signs of stress.24 As the NGO Misto Reform reports: IDPs living together in large groups in places like hostels, sanatoriums, summer camps, etc. for a period of longer than 3 months result in personality decay because of the loss of motivation to look for jobs, housing and decent living. Observing such compact settlements in Kyiv for 4 months during November 2014 to April 2015 indicated changes in the priorities of IDPs, who had been constantly taken care of by volunteers. Whereas in November, 2014 86% of surveyed IDPs put finding jobs as a top priority, by April 2015 21 Consultant Interview (2015) 22 Consultant Interviews and UNHCR Shelter Cluster (2015) 23 UNCHR Shelter Cluster (2015) 24 Ukraine NGO Forum (2015)
  15. 15. 15 the top priority got switched to humanitarian aid availability and only 14% of the surveyed IDPs were bothered by looking for jobs. They summarize their report saying that living in collective centers, “reduces social status of an IDP and doesn’t correspond to the right of dignified living.” For this reason, combined with the loss of economic opportunities by living far from city centers, nearly all those who can, whether through financial or social capital (i.e. spending savings or staying with relatives or friends), seek some other shelter- rather than live in the collective centers. Cash for Rent As mentioned previously, an estimated 90% of all IDPs are trying to address their need for adequate housing with market based solutions. Some are living with family or friends, many are pooling their savings to rent apartments in conjunction with other IDP families, and some are able to rent apartments on their own. It is estimated that currently half of all IDPs are searching for accommodation, adding greatly to the demand side of the housing situation in Ukraine’s bigger cities.25 For this reason, Cash for Rent interventions have been implemented to assist IPDs in finding new homes. The Shelter Cluster has overseen this process and, as of the beginning of June, 2015, had provided cash to between 20,000 and 50,000 households, or roughly 5% of IDPs, with the aim of securing access to adequate shelter for 6-12 months. The IDPs targeted through this program were those who, while of some means, possessed insufficient financial resources to rent a place on their own.26 Fortunately, because of the previous emigration from Ukraine, the massive migration flows following the conflict in the Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts have been relatively easy to address in the housing sector. NGO employees report feeling astonished “that the huge number of IDPs would have no bigger impact on society and housing conditions in Ukraine.”27 Government In addition to the aid being provided by international NGOs, the government of Ukraine has sought to assist IDPs in meeting their need for adequate housing. While government housing programs are not an option due to the one-hundred year wait time, the government has voted, under Resolution 505, to provide several months’ worth of unconditional cash transfers to IDPs, which many use to partially meet their needs, including that of housing. The responsibility of the government to provide adequate housing solutions for IDPs is somewhat overshadowed by the larger need to improve the housing sector for all middle and lower income individuals. 25 UNHCR Shelter Cluster (2015) 26 UNHCR Shelter Cluster (2015) 27 Consultant Interviews and Amman (2015)
  16. 16. 16 Currently, the Ukrainian federal government wants to incentivize the construction of affordable housing for low income families. It is interested in using its bulk purchasing position to provide incentives for companies to undertake new housing construction and complete unfinished projects, which will then be transferred to qualifying citizens. A recent agreement with the government of China sought to provided USD 15 Billion to Ukraine for the construction of affordable social housing, however it came with the caveat that a Chinese company must used, perhaps mitigating some of the potential benefits.28 Additionally, the federal government is also open to using alternative mechanisms such as public-private partnerships to add to the stock of social housing. This possibility has been explored in detail and aided by USAID’s P3DP.29 Some municipalities, such as Kyiv, have individually attempted to address the need for affordable housing. They have initiated a number of housing regeneration programs on their own over the last fifteen years. One project begun in 2008 in Kyiv led to a 60% profit for investors causing interest in future projects. However, these were all social housing programs, and not specifically aimed at IDPs.30 Looking Forward Despite the signing of the Minsk II Protocol in February 2015, which was aimed at resolving the crisis, no political solution to the crisis has occurred. While opinions are mixed, it seems unlikely that any agreed settlement to the crisis will occur in the near to medium term. Despite this, evidence seems to indicate that direct kinetic relations between the belligerents are currently at an ebb. NGOs have reported that, while irregular shelling is a constant concern, direct combat is limited. Whether this is a lull between bloody battles or the establishment of a new normal between entrenched sides remains to be seen. In any event, the crisis is beginning to demonstrate all the characteristics of a protracted IDP event. Data shows that the number of people registering as IDPs is still increasing on an ongoing basis, reflecting the deteriorating situation in the conflict areas. Additionally, movement between Ukraine and the Non-Government Controlled Areas (NGCA) has become increasingly restricted. There are a decreased number of operating checkpoints, causing long waits to cross. Additionally, the de-facto government of the Donbas region has stopped the operations of international NGOs in areas it controls. A number of surveys have looked at the future intentions of Ukraine’s IDPs in an attempt to provide more information to shape future strategy and decision making. In general, between 70% and 93% of all 28 Press service of the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine (2015) 29 Amman (2015) 30 Amman (2015)
  17. 17. 17 IDPs surveyed have reported an intention to make their relocation permanent. On average only 10% to 15% have stated an intention to return home once the conflict ends.31 The reasons for these answers likely hinge on the historical economic decline of Eastern Ukraine, and the subsequent physical and economic devastation. For those that have found new jobs, networks and opportunities, there seems few compelling reasons to return. Within those who don’t intend to return, there is a strong preference to integrate into urban areas such as Kharkiv and Kyiv. Tellingly, a recent International Labor Organization survey asked, “If we were to provide a house free of charge, a job and utilities in a rural area, would you move there?” The vast majority responded in the negative, indicating an overwhelming preference for the urban areas over the rural ones.32 Response Best Practices & Lessons Learned In beginning to think about how to address the situation, it is important to incorporate recent advances and best practices regarding IDPs in urban settings, given Ukrainian IDPs preference for urban solutions. The crisis in Ukraine is, in many respects, past the humanitarian crisis stage. It is no longer “about saving lives,” to the extent that this means preventing civilian fatalities. It has reached the point where development actors need to start looking at medium and long term solutions. In this regard it is now about “saving lives” by saving livelihoods and getting people’s lives back on track. In doing this it is worth keeping USAID’s shelter equation in mind: S>4W+R or stated otherwise, shelter is more than four walls and a roof. As IOM further illustrates, “Durable Solutions are always multi- sectoral solutions.” Any successful intervention to provide adequate housing to IDPs will therefore have to be part of a larger, contextually appropriate, response that includes other sectors. Many best practices, such as recognizing informal tenancy, are of a legal nature and can only be carried out by the government, with the encouragement and support of other actors. However other tactics, such as increasing knowledge sharing and having greater cooperation amongst international NGOs, are prudent for all actors. Specific best practices for creating durable and sustainable housing solutions include: ● Targeting general social issues that will aid IDPs without singling them out. ● Treating housing of IDPs as a development issue that focuses, not on the IDP, but on broader development plans that address structural issues, including challenges faced by the urban poor. ● Focus more on rent interventions, rather than ownership interventions. ● Address deeper problems related to affordability of housing stock. 31 Consultant Interview (2015) 32 Consultant Interview (2015)
  18. 18. 18 ● View housing as a process rather than a product In looking at what specific actors in Ukraine have learned from their housing interventions thus far there are a number of lessons to be taken away. ● Most have emphasized the need to act sooner rather than later, citing the growing demoralization of IDPs and the unlikeliness that the facts on the ground will change dramatically. ● Most have pointed out the lack of complete information in making decisions and a tendency to “wait and see” if things will change, with this strategy so far having gone unrewarded. ● Most have highlighted that the humanitarian community finds itself ill adjusted to provide anything more significant than short term assistance, which does not resolve underlying problems. ● Many have highlighted the tricky issue of land and its legal and cultural implications. ● Many have talked about the lack of good funding mechanisms, such as mortgages. ● Many have mentioned that the government is not doing enough and needs to be pushed to do more. The reality is that most humanitarian agencies can not provide permanent adequate housing on a large scale to meet every IDPs’ need. The UNHCR Shelter Cluster’s Technical Working Group on Permanent Shelter Solutions and Linkage to Recovery has so far been unable to make measureable progress on its goal of aiding 70,000 households with permanent shelter. While the working group has played an important role in shifting the focus towards long-term results, historical issues of land tenure, security, and bureaucratic intransigence are slowing the deployment of any durable solution.
  19. 19. 19 PART II: Opportunities for Results-Based Financing Results-Based Financing Background Results-Based Financing refers to any financing mechanism where at least a portion of funding is tied to results. Generally speaking, in a Results-Based contract, an “outcome payer” (a foundation, international donor, or government) conditions the payment of money (typically a grant) to a service provider (an NGO, private company, or governmental body) on the achievement of pre-agreed social outcomes. A variety of actors use Results-Based Financing to pay for outcomes. In particular, governments in developing countries and international donors are increasingly making use of RBF. There are many potential benefits of Results-Based Financing, including more flexible funding and improved delivery of services. Moreover, it has the potential to bring in new players (i.e. private investors) and motivate markets through the use of a Social Impact Bond, in which impact investors finance the initial cost of operations on project they deem will see a social and monetary return on their investment. Indicators The key “trick” to an RBF project is defining clear and applicable indicators that allow for all parties involved to understand what is expected, and whether outcomes are being met. Outcome metrics should: ● Be strongly linked to the change being incentivized. ● Provide an incentive to focus on sustainable success for the target population. ● Minimize the potential for perverse incentives and ‘gaming’ the system. As explained by the organization Social Finance in a white paper on an RBF in London: “When designing outcome metrics, simplicity, ease and cost of accurate measurements are key considerations. The objective measurement and internal monitoring required for outcome metrics is not without cost. Additional complexity can reduce transparency and increase the potential for ‘gaming.’ When designing outcome metrics, the aim is to identify the smallest number that incentivizes the right behavior.”33 Ideal indicators generally have the following twelve characteristics (figure 5). Objective Clear, well-defined, precise and unambiguous, simple to understand Measurable Able to be quantified easily 33 Social Finance (2012)
  20. 20. 20 Verifiable Able to be verified by an impartial third party Economical Relatively inexpensive to collect Standardized Able to be used again elsewhere and provide a clear picture for comparison Flexible Can accommodate continuous improvements and “stretch” to apply to different places Predictive Able to be extrapolated from to predict outcomes in similar situations Effective Provide a good tool for policy making Relevant Directly related to the desired outcomes of the project Representative Represent the results without neglecting major points Interrelated Interconnected to provide a holistic picture Sustainable Able to be sampled frequently, regardless of external capacity or funding support Figure 5: Characteristics of good indicators. 34 Use in Housing The use of RBF in the housing sector is completely new and untested. It is necessary therefore to consider whether Results-Based Financing provides new or unique tools to the international NGO community to carry out housing interventions. Either way, its newness means there is an increased risk associated with an initial project. Given this risk it might seem like an RBF housing project is not a desirable option, however, the opposite is in fact the case. Using RBF to carry out a housing project is a very attractive option, even with the increased risks for an initial project. This is because international NGOs and donors have experienced numerous challenges and failures with traditional housing interventions and a new methodology has a greater chance of succeeding. For example, the International Red-Cross recently received scathing publicity for having received 500 million USD for its housing program in Haiti, and only constructing six houses.35 With difficulties such as those experienced on this project, it is natural that these organizations should begin to look for alternative models, and shift their focus from spending on inputs and begin to instead spend on outcomes. A fundamental aspect of RBF, an ongoing process or relationship that can be improved through incentives that emphasize outcomes rather than outputs, is already a part of the housing sector. For this 34 Adapted from The World Bank Group’s Indictors - World Bank Group (2007) 35 Propublica (2015)
  21. 21. 21 reason, RBF is a suitable tool that the international NGO community should hone for use in future housing interventions. Possible Indicators Since an RBF housing project has never been undertaken before, it is impossible to borrow indicators from previous projects. However, similar projects undertaken to address homelessness provide potential indicators for this context, and there are classic indicators that most RBF projects utilize. Additionally, there are a handful of indicators that refer to the physical characteristics of the property that must be incorporated to ensure decent housing standards that conform to a country’s laws and internationally agreed norms. Beyond these, which don’t measure outcomes but are necessary for legal reasons, an ideal intervention is one that doesn’t take an overly sectoral approach but instead strives to be a part of an “overarching reintegration approach”. For this reason, many potential indicators should only tangentially touch upon housing. Additionally, while IDPs are used in the examples below, they could just as easily apply to refugees or other populations. Possible indicators include: • Percentage of target population in the housing solution is less than fifty percent. o This prevents the housing solution from being over IDP centric. It prevents ill will toward the IDP community and ensures a degree of integration. Additionally, it means that utilities and services provided by the municipality must cater to the needs of the local population and avoids the temptation to marginalize the community. • Percentage of units occupied in the housing solution by the household prescribed in writing is greater than seventy percent. o This helps avoids the possibility of attempts to game the system by ensuring that those listed on the lease or tripartite agreement are actually inhabiting the unit. • Percentage of the target population in the housing solution current on their payments is greater than eighty percent. o This ensures that solution is more durable than temporary, by showing that IDPs in the solution are able to afford it. • Percentage of income that the target population in the housing solutions spends on housing is less than thirty percent per household. o This along with the above indicator, helps to ensure the durability of the solution. • Percentage of turnover in the housing solution is less than fifty percent per annum. o Ensures a degree of stability, as high turnover could be an indicator of underlying issues. • Percentage of the target population using the housing solution for more than X number of years. o This with the above indicator helps to establish longevity and stability. • Percentage of households of the target population in the housing solution with at least one member currently employed is greater than seventy-five percent. o This ensures that the current generation is achieving livelihoods and is integrating in its new location. Unfortunately, this indicator is difficult to measure given the challenges of defining employment.
  22. 22. 22 • Percentage of children of the target population in the housing solution enrolled in ongoing schooling in a school system ranked in the top two-thirds nationally is greater than seventy-five percent. o This ensures that next generation is engaged in the process of integration, with a reasonable education, creating a long term durable solution. • Percentage of target population households reporting personal savings greater than $100 USD equivalent is greater than fifty percent. o This measures household resilience, and ability to weather unanticipated financial difficulty. • Ratio of visits to the emergency room over elective hospital admissions in target population shows continual improvement over time. o This measures the healthiness of household, and often shows cost saving for local municipalities in single-payer health care systems. • Ratio of acrimonious interactions with the criminal justice system to control group or over time. o This measures many things and shows the progress toward durable solutions. It can also highlight municipal savings. Given the broad number of actors affecting this indicator, it is difficult to include since no one group can be responsible for impacting it. • Percentage of target population registered to vote and/or having voted in past local election is greater than X percent. o This measures the target population’s role in decision making, and level of integration. • Percentage change in sale price of housing units in housing solution over time. o This measures the value that those who are participating in the program receive over time. • Percentage of properties meeting or exceeding standards outlined by national housing law is one hundred percent. These indicators can be measured at the individual level, or at the cohort-wide level. Moreover, each indicator can be manipulated numerically to provide optimized outcomes depending on which level is targeted. Given these variables, it is clear that there are a lot of options at hand to help properly target an intervention towards the results desired. It should also be noted that this list is by no means an exhaustive one. Adding even more flexibility is the timeline by which these indicators are sampled and payments are made. For example, payments are often made once a year over the course of five or ten years. This limits the need to sample the indicators to a manageable frequency but also allows for the normal financial functioning of the organizations involved. Lastly, while it is necessary to tie some indicators to trigger payments, that does not necessarily limit the ability to measure other indicators. This might be done to get a larger picture of the impact of the intervention, compare given indicators with those used elsewhere, or experiment with indicators for potential future projects.
  23. 23. 23 Applicability to Ukrainian Context The Need to Act The benefits to the government of having a long-term and sustainable response to the IDP housing situation are significant. The lack of adequate housing has been tied to a vast number of social ills, and can have expensive long term psychological effects on its citizens. Moreover, for a country such as Ukraine, which has an established history of emigration, there are now over a million more of its citizens with additional reasons to leave the country. Already local NGOs are reporting increased asylum and resident permit requests to the embassies of European Union countries in Kyiv. Given these facts, as well as others laid out previously, there is a clear benefit in acting to introduce some sort of housing related intervention. Intervention Scope The next question that must be examined is to what degree the specific on the ground situation in Ukraine offers fertile soil to try the first ever RBF housing intervention. First, there is a clear population for an intervention. The situation in Ukraine has a defined population (IDPs) whose outcomes can be measured as compared to varying control groups, such as unregistered IDPs, host communities, and historical IDPs (from the Chernobyl disaster). Second, there are a number of clear locations where an intervention can be undertaken. In Kharkiv region, the city of Kharkiv remains the top destination for new IDPs, with 180,000 IDPs officially registered there, and as many as half a million in fact living there. Additionally, Kyiv has also been a preferred choice for IDPs. These two cities provide ideal locations for an intervention. Construction and Financing As previously mentioned, the government of China has sought to provided USD 15 Billion to Ukraine for the construction of affordable social housing.36 While this loan may or may not be the program necessary to meet Ukraine’s social housing needs, given the conditions attached, it does highlight the fact that the problem of social housing in Ukraine is a problem of financing. While much of the developed world has a sound financial and banking system that it can rely on to provide credit, Ukraine does not. With nearly fifty banks going bankrupt in the past six months, interest rates at 40% and unstable rates of inflation, the typical tools for placing low income households on the path to homeownership through mortgages and the like are not options.37 Without these financial 36 Press service of the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine (2015) 37 Consultant Interview (2015)
  24. 24. 24 incentives and tools, the construction industry has very little reason to build housing stock targeted to these categories. The ideal solution to this situation is for the economy of Ukraine to recover, inflation to return a healthy rate, and a sound mortgage system to be established. However, this is obviously many years, if not decades, away. Fortunately, with the right financial tools in terms of Results-Based financing, incentives can be created to engage financial markets and the construction industry in building affordable housing. An international donor such as Germany’s Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), America’s US Agency for International Development (USAID), or even China, could provide the prospect of an improved return, enticing actors to build or invest in social housing that could be affordable to rent or buy for lower income customers. To summarize, Ukraine has construction companies with expertise able to carry out successful construction projects. While proper financing tools are lacking, this is the fault that RBF is aiming to address. If handled correctly, a housing project could kick start the lives of all involved in the process, creating jobs, demonstrating successful financing structures, and providing hope. Rental Approach Under the circumstances, a strong intervention would likely focus on constructing new social housing units for rent. Anecdotal data shows that, while almost every IDP would like to someday own their home (for historical and cultural reasons), today they are more likely to look for rental options - perhaps waiting for the conflict to end and their home in the Donbas region to regain some of its lost value so that it might be used to establish value in a loan or down payment. This follows established historical patterns – when displaced populations first relocate, they, for readily apparent reasons, look to the rental market, rather than the property market, to address their housing needs. Data from a survey done by the NGO Misto Reform indicated that, “86.9% [of IDPs] can afford monthly payment of UAH 3,000 to UAH 5,000, 9.4% can afford UAH 5 000 to UAH 10 000.”38 While this is not a sufficient amount to be able to access the mortgage markets as they currently exist, it is enough to be able to afford rental prices on social housing units. As previously stated, there is currently a deficit in affordable housing to rent. According to sources, in government controlled areas the main shelter related issue reported per household by IDPs is the lack of resources to rent housing (55%). Key informants also report that in some areas there is insufficient housing available for rent (12%). Eight percent reported problems with landlord/risk of eviction.39 Constructing new units for rent, that are at the affordable end of the market, addresses these issues. 38 Misto Reform (2015). UAH is the symbol to represent Ukraine’s currency, the Ukrainian hryvnia. 39 Misto Reform (2015)
  25. 25. 25 An RBF project aimed at increasing the supply of affordable housing, especially for IDPs, would accomplish a number of objectives. It boosts the incentives for housing supply to meet demand while making IDPs more attractive tenants, while avoiding the pitfall of placing IDPs in housing that they are unable to sustainably afford, as a credit guarantee-based intervention might. Because it is a market based intervention it incentives “realistic housing construction,” meaning companies will build based on their internal analysis of the likelihood of overall long-term profitability – with RBF outcome payments factored in - and not just build to meet the potentially distorting immediate desire of international donors. Challenges It has been shown above that the situation in Ukraine provides a number of circumstances that make it ideal for an IDP housing intervention. It has a defined target population and location, with strong control groups for comparison. There is a clear methodology, constructing new social housing units and renting them, with actors able to carry it out. There is obvious demand for what such an intervention would provide, and evidence that it would address the needs of those it targets. Lastly, there is sufficient information regarding the indicators to be used in such an intervention. However, despite these positive conditions, there are nonetheless a number of challenges, both in general, and specific to the Ukrainian context, that are worth taking note of. Overall Challenges In all housing interventions there are numerous challenges. Some challenges are very situation specific, with their roots in the cultural, legal and historical narrative of the location where the intervention takes place. Others challenges are broader, tending to show up in numerous interventions. RBF tools are able to address some of these challenges, and are unable to address others. ● Land – What governments have to offer to housing interventions is generally a donation of land. However, governments hesitate to donate valuable land in desirable locations such as city centers, preferring to sell this land to developers for a profit. This means that NGOs are often donated land that is far from jobs and services, and housing interventions based in these locations fail to reach their desired outcome. This has been seen repeatedly in housing interventions around the world. By not necessarily relying on the donation of land, RBF avoids this issue, and even in locations where land is donated, if it is so remote as to not allow for the necessary outcomes, RBF projects have an incentive not to make use of it. ● Expertise - In most post-crisis situations there are no large scale providers of permanent housing. Not many professional NGOs build housing as a program and when they do, it frequently does not work. Because NGOs are not construction companies or real-estate developers, they can’t adequately address risks in the housing market. Yet it can often be the case that donors have given them money that must be spent for the purposes of housing. RBF addresses this challenge by moving these decisions, and the attached risk, from the NGO to the
  26. 26. 26 construction company that is better able to assess them. It is this issue that a RBF project best addresses. ● Financing – Housing interventions require lots of upfront financing in order to be carried out. In the case of RBF, this can sometimes mean relying on the Social Impact Bond (SIB) as the mechanism by which that financing is secured. This bond relies on private sector investors to finance the upfront cost of a project, which they recoup with profit if the project successfully meets its target indicators. However, there is the risk that, despite the opportunity to turn a profit, during uncertain times investors might be shy about taking the risk financing anything. In cases such as these it can be difficult to secure the necessary financing for a successful intervention. ● Corruption – In any intervention, housing or otherwise, corruption can be a serious challenge. It creates significant additional costs and uncertainties throughout the process. This is a burden for all actors. RBF in some ways addresses this because it must be factored into calculations of those companies or organizations who are looking at whether they will be able to turn a profit under a given set of parameters. However, it would obviously be ideal if corruption were not an issue. ● Sectoralization – In all housing interventions there is a risk of providing a roof but failing to provide something else, which ultimately dooms the project, because that wasn’t part of the housing sector’s responsibilities. More than what is provided as a structure, the path to recovery is based on a lot of other factors, of which housing is just one. “People can’t eat their house,”40 RBF brings this into focus, however, it can also make housing a more risky sector to carry out an intervention in, depending what other factors might be at play. Ukraine-Specific Challenges ● Land - Within Ukraine, government land has already been donated, which an international donor used to make an “IDP camp” out of shipping containers. However, local actors report that there have been difficulties filling these shelters.41 As mentioned above, RBF provides some relief from this challenge, letting private companies decide if a location will be able to produce the desired outcomes and be profitable or not. ● Expertise – Ukraine has, until recently, largely been considered a middle income nation that does not require the attention of international aid organizations. While the U.S. Peace Corps and USAID have put effort into helping it develop institutions following its independence from the Soviet Union, most aid agencies have been more occupied in Africa and the Middle-East. This 40 Consultant Interview (2015) 41 Consultant Interviews (2015)
  27. 27. 27 means that many major actors lack the expertise to carry out an intervention appropriate to the local context.42 ● Culture of Ownership- The challenge with constructing new social housing units to rent is that, while Ukraine has the native construction expertise necessary for such a project, it is less clear that the capacity exists to profitably manage those properties. In general, construction companies are not experts when it comes to managing long term financial relationships with their clients. For most developers it is easier for them to sell apartments and complete the transaction rather than have an ongoing relationship with the customer. 42 Consultant Interview (2015)
  28. 28. 28 Summary For the second time in thirty years, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians suddenly find themselves in the desperate search for somewhere they can call home. The violence and insecurity that has descended upon Crimea and the Donbas region has driven as many as 1.8 million people from the homes and lives they knew. Most of those who have left, especially the younger generations, will never return.43 The situation is looking increasingly entrenched, with ever worsening conditions for those still inhabiting conflict areas. Collective centers, set up at the start of the crisis, are at risk of turning from emergency way-stations into permanent ghettos, devoid of opportunities and with ever lower morale. The estimated six to twelve months of assistance that the government and international NGOs are planning to provide to targeted IDPs looks insufficient in comparison to the likely duration and outcome of the conflict. It is difficult to overstate the importance of housing. From the Great Depression to the Great Recession, almost all major financial crises of the last one hundred years have some of their roots in the housing market. Ukraine’s housing market is frozen in time, burdened by its communist past and hobbled by financial disaster. It is unable to meet the needs of her citizens. If those searching for new homes are ever to find them, “Long-term housing strategies and policies, including financial mechanisms that would support residential construction, are needed.”44 A new financial tool is the best way to address the current housing situation. With the number of IDPs growing weekly as the conflict drags on there is increasing interest in finding a response that addresses more than just the immediate crisis. It has been observed recently that “there seems willingness of the donor community to support initiatives targeting at housing solutions [sic] for low income households and IDPs in Ukraine.”45 Time will reveal when that support actually arrives, and what form it will take. 43 Consultant interviews indicate that a very high percentage of IDPs have no intention of returning home, this is particularly true of the younger generation. 44 Amman, (2015) 45 Amman, (2015)
  29. 29. 29 Conclusion Results-Based Financing in and of itself is a relatively new innovation, and its use in the housing sector is untested. While this presents significant risk to anyone contemplating its use in this sector, it also presents an opportunity for those seeking to have a groundbreaking impact. RBF has the potential to serve this sector as a much needed link between humanitarian aid and development solutions. Because of the unique characteristics of RBF, it can energize local markets while leaving risk assessments to those who are best informed and have the most at stake. These features make RBF better suited to provide a bridge over the gap between humanitarian aid and development solutions than any of the other interventions currently available. While Ukraine doesn’t necessarily provide a picture-perfect testing ground for such a project, given the challenging legal framework, cultural norms and its perception as a developed country, the clear target populations, comparison groups, market actors and, most importantly need, provide a unique opportunity. It seems only a matter of time until RBF is put to work in the housing sector; while it remains to be seen what country that first intervention will take place in, the housing situation for IDPs in Ukraine offers a compelling case. Though this discussion has focused on the use of RBF to provide housing solutions to IDPs, such interventions are equally suitable to other populations. From refugees to the urban poor, RBF projects have a lot to offer those struggling to find adequate shelter. It has been noted by the UN special Rapporteur for IDPs and others that housing solutions will achieve more when they focus on low incomes and disadvantaged situations, rather than simply registered status.46 From Germany to Colombia, the UK to Cambodia many populations stand to benefit from such projects. Like all interventions, RBF is not a silver bullet. Nonetheless, the strategies and methodology of this new approach provide valuable tools to help improve the lives of refugees and IDPs everywhere. Ultimately though, it is still up to governments, communities, companies, NGOs and individuals to ensure that the search for adequate housing is not in vain. 46 IDMC (2015)
  30. 30. 30 Glossary of Terms Adequate Housing – A legally secure, affordable, habitable, accessible and culturally adequate abode with functioning services that is located so as to allow access to social facilities and livelihoods. Inputs – The financial, human and material resources used in a development intervention. Outcome – The likely or achieved short-term and medium-term effects of an intervention’s outputs. Outputs – The products, capital goods and services which result from a development intervention; may also include changes resulting from the intervention which are relevant to the achievement of outcomes. Results-Based Financing – Any intervention where financial or other incentives are provided for the achievement, and verification of, predefined outcomes. Shelter – The minimum required covered-living space necessary to prevent death from exposure. Generally treated in disaster interventions as 3.5 square meters per-person, covered by plastic sheeting. Social Impact Bond – A bond whereby investors provide external financing and payment is made upon the achievement of previously specified outcomes.
  31. 31. 31 Table of Figures FIGURE 1: GROWING DISPARITY BETWEEN URBAN AND RURAL WEALTH. ..................................................................... 9 FIGURE 2: TABLE OF DIFFERENT POPULATIONS RELATED TO DISPLACED PERSONS. ....................................................... 11 FIGURE 3: MAP SHOWING THE UNHCR’S DATA ON IDPS IN UKRAINE AS OF JUNE 8, 2015. ........................................ 12 FIGURE 4: DONBAS RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURE, PARTLY DAMAGED BY SHELLING ........................................................... 13 FIGURE 5: CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD INDICATORS. ............................................................................................. 20
  32. 32. 32 Organizations Interviewed 1. People in Need (PIN) - August 3, 2015 2. Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) - August 4, 2015 3. United States Department of State - August 4, 2015 4. Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) - August 5, 2015 5. Ukrainian Red Cross Society - August 8, 2015 6. FHI360 - August 11, 2015 7. International Organization for Migration (IOM) - August 11, 2015 8. Social Partnership - August 12, 2015 9. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) - August 14, 2015 10. Misto Reform - August 18, 2015 11. InterAction - August 20, 2015 12. German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) - August 20, 2015 13. United Nations Development Program (UNDP) - August 21, 2015 14. Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) - August 25, 2014
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