Much of the studies on the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) tends to focus on the cash bonus, maternity, and death benefit components. This research therefore seeks to explore an understudied component, which is the socioeconomic projects, particularly the Educational Assistance Program (EDAP). The analyses are based on key informant interviews with program partners and implementers and survey of former beneficiaries. Results show that the majority of the program partnesr only implement EDAP since it is easier to manage compared with livelihood undertakings and other SAP-socioeconomic projects. There is also substantial diversity in how EDAP is being carried out and its implementation depends on the local context. Among the program implementers and scholars interviewed, payment delay was frequently reported as a top issue. The majority of the respondents were quick to find jobs after graduation and are currently employed. However, a notable number would want additional hours of work. We found out that stakeholders do not see EDAP as a human resource intervention; hence, there is some resistance in implementing the priority course requirement. Affordability and availability of courses were primary factors in the decision-making of the beneficiaries. To make the program more relevant and responsive to the needs of the intended beneficiaries, financial assistance must be complemented with other community-based interventions such as extending values formation activities to the beneficiaries’ family members and community. EDAP may be transformed from a simple scholarship program into a holistic social protection intervention. To be able to do this, available funds should be allocated only to EDAP instead of spreading resources thinly on various socioeconomic projects.

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Title: Process Evaluation of the Social Amelioration Program-Socioeconomic Projects (SAP-SEP) and Tracer Study of the Educational Assistance Program (EDAP)
Researcher
Maria Isabel Artajo, Stephanie Rose Flores & Paulina Kim Pacete