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Cash 101: Cash and Voucher Assistance Explained

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Good Practice Review on Cash Assistance in Contexts of High Inflation and Depreciation

5 October 2021 — By The CALP Network, Space

What is this?

  • A compilation of good practices to assist humanitarian actors designing and implementing cash programmes, including multipurpose cash (MPC) and cash for sectoral outcomes.
  • The rationale for this document is the growing challenge of inflation and currency depreciation in contexts in which humanitarian cash assistance is being implemented and/or could be implemented.

Who is it for?

  • The document is relevant for different humanitarian audiences, namely coordination bodies, in particular Cash Working Groups (CWGs), individual agencies and donors. The implications of different steps and options for these different audiences are outlined.
  • The document actively encourages collective action across stakeholders on analysis and decision-making in contexts of inflation/depreciation

How is it structured?

  • The document starts with an overview of key concepts, presented in an accessible way for humanitarian actors. The guidance part of the document is intended to mirror the response analysis process, and is structured as follows: Situation Analysis, Response Analysis, and Response Options.
  • It contains the type of information and analysis required to make programming decisions in these contexts. The Situation Analysis section summarizes what you need to know about the context in relation to inflation and depreciation. The Response Analysis section summarizes the key information points which will guide your decision-making and help you to identify the type of scenario you are dealing with. Finally, the Response Options section provides possible solutions for those different scenarios.

  • Examples from different contexts have been integrated as text boxes throughout the text. These are intended to illustrate concepts and demonstrate how steps and options have been carried out in practice. In addition, in-depth case studies of Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Lebanon and Yemen have been developed alongside the review. These illustrate the type of analysis and the decision-making processes carried out in these countries. Lessons learned from these case studies have also been integrated as text boxes throughout the text.

What are some of the key lessons learned so far?

  • The importance of preparedness for appropriate and timely adjustments to programming
  • Programmatic flexibility, including from donors, to respond to changing circumstances
  • Role of advocacy with governments, FSPs and regulators to alleviate the impact of inflation & depreciation
  • The harmonisation of analysis and approaches across actors – e.g. through the Cash Working Group
  • How much we can learn from the challenges posed by inflation across such a diversity of country contexts. We tend to compare our situation in a country with neighbouring countries or countries in the same wealth range, but on this issue we can all benefit from emerging experiences across the globe.

Cash 101: Cash and Voucher Assistance Explained

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