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Cash Coordination in Humanitarian Contexts

June 2017 — By Julia Steets, Lotte Ruppert

Cash transfer programs in humanitarian crises are on the rise. Therefore, the need for cash coordination at country level is increasing. The current setup of cash coordination is fragmented and ad hoc, leading to delays, gaps, and duplications of coordination mechanisms. The lack of clarity about institutional arrangements for cash coordination also creates inter-agency tensions. This paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of seven institutional models for cash coordination, as well as the level of stakeholder endorsement for each option. It intends to add constructive input to the heated debate on how to translate the recommendations from the IASC Strategic Note on Cash Transfers in Humanitarian Contexts (2016) into practice. The consultation and discussion process around this GPPi paper revealed a strong demand for clear and authoritative arrangements from the global level to formalize cash coordination at least to a certain degree, while avoiding a one-size-fits-all model.