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Case Study

Cash Working Group De-activation in Iraq

May 2023 — By Mireia Termes, CashCap

The humanitarian context in Iraq has evolved significantly in the past years, advancing towards recovery and sustainability for the conflict-affected population.

During 2022, the humanitarian coordination structure worked on a process to phase out, in line with the transitional context. Clusters and the Cash Working Group (CWG) designed exit strategies that concluded with their de-activation at the end of the year.

The CWG in Iraq was deactivated after a year-long process that required strategic thinking to adapt to new ways of working. Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) played a key role during the humanitarian response, and the CWG supported the coordination of large-scale interventions. In this context, the de-activation strategy was informed through consultations with stakeholders to map out of how CVA would be used beyond humanitarian responses, through a roadmap and other activities.

Iraq is not unique in the region in that it faces a number of protracted and interlinked crises, but it is the first country where the humanitarian coordination system has been deactivated. There are very few examples of this happening globally. This case study describes the deactivation of the CWG with a context analysis, details of key actions taken, and a discussion of challenges and lessons learned.

Authored by the CashCap expert who led the process, it is intended to document its complexity and serve as a reference point for humanitarian practitioners who might be involved in similar exercises. Each CWG and the environments they work in are unique, but sharing information and experiences from other countries will benefit global learning. This case study aims to contribute to this process.