The CALP Network Publishes Collection of Research Papers to Fill the Evidence Gap Around Gender and Cash
On 12 September 2018, the CALP Network launched ‘Collected Papers on Gender and Cash Transfer Programmes in Humanitarian Contexts.’ Initially made up of the research presented at the CALP Network’s Gender Symposium, which took place in February 2018, this collection will continue to be updated as new research becomes available.
This first series of papers from UN Women, Concern Worldwide, and the World Food Programme not only do a great job of drawing attention to the evidence gap on the effect of cash-based interventions on gender outcomes in humanitarian settings, but they also lay out the steps the community of practice must take to enact gender-transformative change.
“Women’s empowerment is not a zero-sum game – where FFA programs empowered women, they empowered men too.” (WFP)
The insights and recommendations that each paper offers creates a singular message: implementers of cash transfer programs can no longer make the assumption that the provision of cash has a positive impact on gender equality. As practitioners, we should be making a conscious effort to include more gender-responsive components in the design of humanitarian programmes.
“Without appropriate gender considerations, CBIs may fail to reach those left furthest behind and may possibly limit, rather than create an opportunity for greater, gender-transformative change.” (UN Women)
This is not to say that there is or should be a ‘one-size fits all’ approach. On the contrary, cash-based interventions (CBIs) must be made to fit a particular context. This is highlighted in the Malawi research commissioned by Concern Worldwide, in which it is recommended that cash transfer programming acknowledge and consider the different vulnerabilities faced by women and men in patrilineal and matrilineal marriages.
“Cash, in itself, is not neutral, but conveys power – a means of control over women.” (Concern Worldwide)
Although the evidence base around the effect of cash transfer programming on gender outcomes in humanitarian settings is currently limited and mixed, it does not have to stay that way. The CALP Network and its members will drive forward the ‘Agenda for Collective Action’ by encouraging collaboration and the sharing of experiences and learning – and this is just the first step.
Read the first volume of papers here and follow us on twitter with the hashtag #GenderCash to stay up to date on the second launch of papers.
Chad in Central Africa has one of the highest levels of hunger in the world. Around 87 percent of its mainly rural population lives below the poverty line. Photo: Giulio d’Adamo/WFP
Main image: Peter Caton/Oxfam