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Between efficiency and do no harm: Blockchain-based innovation in cash and voucher assistance

31 January 2023 — By Jamile Teles Hamideh

The focus of this study is the determination of the risk factors for beneficiaries that arise from the use of blockchain technology in the delivery of cash and voucher assistance (CVA), as part of a framework for the identification of digital harm. The study also aims to use the said framework to create actionable points for humanitarian organizations working on reducing risks to beneficiaries when implementing this type of program.

As the need for humanitarian assistance grows, trends such as cash and voucher assistance and digitalization emergence. CVA can lead to benefits such as cost efficiency, more timely and accurate meeting of beneficiaries’ needs, operational flexibility, and empowerment of beneficiaries. When blockchain is used in CVA, further benefits such as higher transparency and accountability, less corruption, security, and programmability can be acquired. Nevertheless, the analysis of the risks that arise from this implementation must be conducted, addressing a gap in both literature and practice.