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A Global Mapping of GOAL’s Cash, Vouchers and Social Protection Interventions Linked with Health

30 May 2022 — By Lucy Njue, Ciara O' Malley with support from Marie Hallissey and Daniel Muhungura

This mapping identified ways GOAL are providing financial assistance (including CVA and social protection assistance) to support access to health related goods/services and improve people’s health/nutrition status. It reviewed GOAL projects in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Carribean.

GOAL adopted various strategies to offer financial assistance to increase access to health and nutrition services. Some of these interventions fit the standard definition of CVA, some are more fitting as Social
Protection interventions and some do not fall within either category. Out of the 58 health and nutrition projects identified; 29% (17) were implementing CVA approaches in line with the definition. This included:
i. The payment of transport and incidental costs to facilitate referrals to health services.
ii. The use of CVA at the household level to improve nutrition outcomes among household with malnourished children.

Financial assistance interventions that do not qualify as CVA included:
i. Payment of hospital bills directly to service providers on behalf of community members.
ii. Payment of transport costs directly to transport service providers to facilitate referral for health services.
iii. Salary support for health care workers (partially or in full).
iv. Grants to the Ministry of Health (MOH) to implement project activities.
v. Payment of daily subsistence allowances to health care workers and community volunteers.

GOAL also reviewed CVA for non-health or nutrition specific outcomes, such as MPCA for Basic Needs, CVA for food security, livelihoods etc. and identified the formal and informal ways which the CVA connected with health (and nutrition) in the project cycle. GOAL found that among non-health specific projects utilizing CVA modalities, the findings show that health and nutrition aspects were integrated within the project cycle. This was achieved mainly through the following approaches:
i. Inclusion of health and nutrition factors in the selection criteria
ii. Implementation of health and nutrition activities like health education and community sensitizations.
iii. Facilitating referrals of community members to access health services.
iv. Responding to health crisis like COVID-19 with CVA and
v. Monitoring of health and nutrition-related indicators.

*This study outlines some of the operational challenges, learnings, best practices and recommendations for applying a ‘health lens’ to CVA as well as incorporating financial assistance for health specific outcomes.*