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Is Large-scale Cash Compatible with Locally Led Response?

In this episode, we challenge the idea that locally led response and large-scale CVA are incompatible. We explore the myths around local actors and the barriers to further progress.

7 December 2023

Locally led response and large-scale cash assistance still seem far apart, are things changing or are institutional barriers too strong. Our guest, Ahmed Ibrahim Abdi who is a highly experienced humanitarian and the convener of the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands Humanitarian Network in Kenya, uses examples from his own work and that of his colleagues to challenge preconceived notions about localization. We also hear insightful reflections from Chris Hoffman and Christina Bennett.

We said, what is the fastest way to do a response? We said, of course, cash. Then we said, why not? We started training all the teams on cash transfers, and then from there started with a low level to enable local actors to be doing the response themselves.” Ahmed Ibrahim Abdi

“Why do I need to know the community? Why do I not just go to the people already that know the community and work with them to engage more deeply with the community that they’re living within, right?.. Are the systems built for that? Not yet, but I think over time we will be obsolete if we don’t.” Chris Hoffman.

Let’s hear this fascinating episode!

CashCast is an occasional podcast from the CALP Network that looks in depth at the critical debates in humanitarian cash and voucher assistance (CVA).


Karen Peachey

Karen joined CALP in early 2017 and became the Director in April 2018. She has worked in both development and humanitarian contexts since the 1990s. Among many other things, Karen has a keen interest in networks, the power of collective action, and how systems change happens.



Ahmed Ibrahim Abdi

Ahmed is the Convener of the Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASAL) Humanitarian Network, the Vice Chair of the Council of the Africa Humanitarian Organisations Network (AHN) and Chair of the Kenya Charter for Change (C4C) Working Group.

Christina Bennett

Christina is the CEO of Start Network, a growing global membership of local, national and international NGOs. She has more than 20 years of experience in humanitarian policy and practice, including field work in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and South Sudan.

Christopher Hoffman

Chris is the CEO of Humanity Link, an impact driven digital communication firm that enables communication services to people in need everywhere. He brings 20 years of experience in the field of humanitarian and development innovation.