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Will New Technologies Help Deliver More and Better Cash?

Technology brings new opportunities, risks, and dilemmas for the humanitarian system. In this episode, we explore these issues, and question whether the combination of technology and cash could bring transformative change and finally make aid more people-centered.

7 December 2023

Technology has always been a driver of change in all walks of life, including in the humanitarian system. Even though technology brings advantages, soothes processes, and increases our reach, it also brings dilemmas, challenges, and even counterintuitive situations.

In this last episode of this series of CashCast, we analyse with our guests, Laura and Chris, how technology is changing the face of humanitarian work. They reflect on how communities are already using technology, the main risks and dilemmas for the aid system, (especially in relation to data protection, inclusion, and ethics), and of course, how these all play out in cash assistance.

“We need to understand how data is processed by the technologies that we engage with. And then be able to put the governance structures in there and standardize it across the board. And if you can’t do it, you can’t play.” Chris Hoffman.

“The things I worry about most are where we’re jumping into use cases, either not having thoroughly tested or, or grounded ourselves in small pilots first, and then also sort of ignoring what we do know about things like bias in AI, because AI is built on data and data sets are biased.” Laura Walker.

Dive in!

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.



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.

Laura Walker McDonald

Laura is a technologist, lawyer, and strategist with more than 15 years of global experience in the aid and development space. She is currently the Senior Advisor, Digital Technology and Data Protection for the Regional Delegation for the US and Canada of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).