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Report

Guidelines on Cash Transfers and Livelihoods – Latin America

2015 — By Cédric Elluard

This document, like the learning workshop that took place in Guatemala City on 16th and 17th November 2015, focuses primarily on the context in Central America. Due to the profile of the participants and the complex problems of the region (the Dry Corridor, high exposure to hurricanes, high levels of chronic malnutrition, the impact of climate change, etc.), it was decided that it would be best to restrict the document to Central America. However, much of the information and many of the recommendations presented herein may be useful for other contexts in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Several programmes have been implemented in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region involving cash transfers, generally on a conditional basis. Cash transfers are increasingly being used in humanitarian contexts, particularly in the area of food security and in the construction of community assets/public works. This method is becoming more and more accepted as an effective multisectoral tool for humanitarian response and to break the poverty cycle, as well as for livelihood programmes. To date, there is no regional platform for exchanging experiences and lessons learned about this issue. This event therefore aimed to initiate a process to fill this gap, starting with cash transfers for livelihood programmes.

This document seeks to provide information about cash transfer programmes for livelihoods to humanitarian, development and government agency staff who have:

  • good knowledge of the issue of livelihoods, but with limited experience in cash transfers, or
  • experience in cash transfers but with limited knowledge of the livelihoods sector.

This document is not a guide to implementation. It simply writes up lessons learned in the region, makes references to practical examples, and highlights details of cash transfer programmes for livelihoods. It also refers to various key documents on cash transfers and livelihoods.