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Report

Evaluation of the Use of Different Transfer Modalities in ECHO Humanitarian Aid Actions 2011- 2014

29 July 2016 — By Nick Maunder, Neil Dillon, Gabrielle Smith, Sharon Truelove, Victoria De Bauw

This report evaluates the use of different transfer modalities (cash transfers, vouchers, inkind transfers and combined modalities) in ECHO Humanitarian Aid actions between 2011 and 2014. The overall objective of the study is to identify opportunities to improve the cost effectiveness and cost efficiency of ECHO programming. The evaluation draws on multiple sources of evidence including project data, interviews, electronic surveys, field trips and a literature review.

Core findings and conclusions include that in comparable contexts cash transfers are typically more cost efficient than other options; the scale of projects is a key driver of cost efficiency; and, the greatest cost effectiveness is achieved through a coordinated multi-purpose cash transfer to meet basic needs.

The use of cash transfers has increased but agencies with sector specific mandates are constrained in the use of basic needs grants. There are strong arguments for integrating emergency transfers with social safety nets and ECHO has a comparative advantage in influencing support to national systems through other EU
instruments.

Recommendations to ECHO focus:

(a) on promoting the use of cash transfers at scale, to meet a range of basic needs, and

(b) on introducing systematic ECHO-internal analysis of cost efficiency and cost effectiveness.