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Evaluation and Review of the Use of Cash and Vouchers in Humanitarian Crises

2011 — By DG ECHO

This report is the second of two reports commissioned by DG ECHO to support the development of a coherent policy regarding the use of cash and vouchers in humanitarian crises. The first report evaluated DG ECHO’s partners’ use of cash and vouchers. This second report reviews cash and voucher initiatives funded by other donors, as well as meta-analyses and academic research.

The purpose of this report is to build on the conclusions and emerging recommendations drawn up in the evaluation report. It has looked at systems and procedures, tools and methods, staff capacity and training, and organizational learning. For key issues identified in the evaluation report as warranting further attention, this report has endeavoured to identify examples of what might be termed “best practice”, to highlight relevance for DG ECHO, and to provide recommendations towards the development of DG ECHO’s policy and practices on the use cash and voucher initiatives.

Areas where best practice has yet to be defined are flagged as useful areas for future research.

The recently revised interpretation of legal parameters for DG ECHO cash and voucher initiatives has opened up the potential for provision of unconditional cash transfers to address the needs of additional target groups. This review, therefore, also includes discussions which have not, as yet, been a focus within DG ECHO but which may become important in the future.