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Policy paper

DG ECHO Thematic Policy Document on Cash Transfers

22 March 2022 — By DG ECHO

DG ECHO released its Thematic Policy document on Cash Transfers in March 2022. The document provides guidance primarily to DG ECHO’s partners and staff, but also to the wider cash community with the objective of collectively enhancing the quality and efficiency of cash programmes and of humanitarian aid. This policy marks a step-change in linking cash transfers and social protection, and synergies with key reforms on digitalisation, localisation and greening of humanitarian assistance.

The document embeds DG ECHO’s commitment, as a leading donor, to cash over vouchers and builds on best practice across the system. It is a practical tool, distinguishing mandatory elements and recommendations. The document is easy to navigate and there is also a checklist to be used for proposals. It is structured according to the desired outcomes of humanitarian assistance rather than the project cycle to reinforce DG ECHO’s policy commitments and better reflect cross-cutting issues.

Each section is structured as follows:
DG ECHO expectations: a policy statement of what DG ECHO expects from partners.
What does this mean? Unpacking the expectations in practice.
Key considerations: a set of questions to help DG ECHO staff and partners to meet the expectations.
How to this relate to other related topics/expectations? Cross-referencing to other relevant areas of the policy.
What resources are available? Focusing on the CaLP Programme quality toolbox, which is a continuously updated repository of resources.

It is complemented by the Large-scale Cash Guidance Note (Annex 1), which contains specific considerations for large-scale cash programmes (equal to or above EUR 10 million). The Note provides specific guidance on the segregation of functions, cost-efficiency (including indirect costs) and transparency.

Other annexes provide guidance on calculating the Total Cost to Transfer Ratio, and on DG ECHO expectations for the use of cash and vouchers to meet specific sectoral outcomes.