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Cash 101: Cash and Voucher Assistance Explained

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Cash Transfers Programming and Persons of Concern

28 July 2016 — By Lam Nguyen and Rebecca H. Vo

A significant majority of Persons of Concern (POC) in Asia are living in non-camp, urban settings. The longer-term implications of this for assistance programmes have often been overlooked or even dismissed as being too complex or politically sensitive to consider interfering. Nevertheless, the humanitarian community is faced with the task of responding in more complex environments, including a dramatic increase in the number of POC and those in need of international protection and assistance for protracted periods.

Against this backdrop, the uptake of cash transfer programming (CTP) in large-scale and prolonged crises has increased in recent years. Indeed, the 2016 UN Secretary-General’s Agenda for Humanity calls for a commitment to ‘use cash-based programming as the preferred and default method of support’. For POC in increasingly restrictive operational settings and with over-stretched resources, CTP presents an opportunity to address their diverse, protracted needs; to support livelihoods and resilience; and to increase the potential for social cohesion through engagement in local economies and communities.

The purpose of this briefing note is to demonstrate adaptive practices for providing essential assistance to the most vulnerable POC. The ten key lessons at the end of this executive summary, while not exhaustive, summarise the key points from desk research, discussions at a the CALP Network CTP and POC Workshop and pre- and post-workshop consultations with various stakeholders. They provide objective guidance for practitioners working with CTP and POC to enhance the assessment, design, delivery and monitoring of CTP in POC contexts in Asia and beyond.


Cash 101: Cash and Voucher Assistance Explained

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