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Scoping study – Emergency cash transfer programming in the WaSH and shelter sectors

2014 — By Hélène Juillard , Mainul Islam Opu

Over the past few years, the dialogue on cash transfer programming has progressed beyond initial debates about whether distributing cash and vouchers is a valid response modality at all to a general acceptance of their added value in appropriate contexts. Beyond the livelihoods and food security sectors, cash transfer programming is increasingly being considered as a response to emergency shelter and WaSH needs through an increasing variety of modalities and program designs.

However, there is still a need to understand (1) the range of programming examples, (2) blockages and success factors in the consideration of cash transfer programming and (3) opportunities to address these blockages and to institutionalise success factors within these sectors. Humanitarian agencies and donors are interested in learning more about the current use of, approaches to and capacity for cash transfer programming in the shelter and WaSH sectors, including programming that combines assistance modalities. The CALP Network has therefore commissioned this scoping study on emergency cash transfer programming in the WaSH and shelter sectors.

The objective of this study is to take stock of the recent advancements in the use of cash transfer programming in the shelter and WaSH sectors to respond to emergencies and provide recommendations to encourage quality cash transfer programming at scale in those sectors. This study aims to identify themes for future research, advocacy, case studies, capacity building initiatives, and debates or other recommended activities related to cash transfer programming in shelter and settlements and WaSH programming. The study findings and recommendations are targeted at global, regional, and national coordination mechanisms including the clusters, donors, UN agencies, implementing agencies, and the CALP Network.