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Cash-Based Response- OECD Commitments into Action Series

2017 — By Cyprien Fabre, Ruth Aggiss

The use of cash in humanitarian response is not new. What is new, notably after the World Humanitarian Summit and the Grand Bargain, is the policy momentum for using cash as a primary option in responding to humanitarian needs. There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating its multiple benefits as a transformative tool in addressing the needs of the most vulnerable. Large scale cash-based response programmes are being mobilised in the Middle East, putting the Grand Bargain commitment into motion. However, “why not cash?” is still not the first question asked when programming humanitarian response.

These guidelines are intended to provide donor staff with an overview of cash-based response; what it is and why donors should consider it, as well as key operational and practical considerations for its feasibility, implementation, coordination and impact. This note does not duplicate or replace existing cash technical tools or guidance, of which there are many. Instead it provides a synopsis of the key issues in current cash good practice; including latest policy and practical guidance of relevance for donors who would like to be funding or working within cash-based response for the first time.