Feedback collected through the hotline became a key source of information in deciding and how and where the cash transfer programme needed to be improved.
When the Lebanese Red Cross set up a feedback and complaints mechanism to answer questions from Syrian refugees about a cash transfer programme, they decided to use Emergency Medical Service (EMS) volunteers to answer calls. Supported by the British Red Cross, the National Society trained existing EMS volunteers in complaints handling and procedures, believing their experience on the ambulance service had set them up with the right people skills to handle questions and complaints calmly and respectfully.
The use of volunteers who were separate from the actual programme also provided a sense of independence in how complaints were handled. The hotline was launched in January 2014 at the same time as the actual programme and was advertised at distribution points. Common issues raised through the hotline included the fact that some people who had missed their cash transfer or were having trouble using the ATM cards that had been issued. Feedback collected through the hotline became a key source of information in deciding and how and where the cash transfer programme needed to be improved.
A review of the hotline highlighted the importance of having senior management on board, having the right procedures and training in place prior to launching the hotline and the need for a clear referral process for calls received about other programmes or external services.