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Guidelines and Tools

Tip Sheet on Integrating Cash and Voucher Assistance in HNOs and HRPs

2021 — By Global Protection Cluster

The use of Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) has increased considerably in the past years from 10.6 per cent of international  humanitarian assistance in 2016 to 19 per cent in 2020. Today, CVA is widely recognized as a more flexible and dignified modality for providing humanitarian assistance and is also the modality preferred by many recipients. CVA cuts across sectors, thus supports the aim of the humanitarian programme cycle (HPC) to cooperate, achieve collective results and improve accountability to affected populations.

In child protection, CVA can contribute to preventing risks in any of the areas under Pillar 2 of the Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action. CVA can also be used as a tool in integrated responses addressing certain child rights violations, such as child labor and SGBV and mitigate children’s involvement in harmful coping strategies to meet the household’s basic needs.

Similar to other sectors, the key contribution that CVA can make in child protection is to provide financial access to essential goods and services and to compensate to some extent certain opportunity costs, such as the opportunity cost of lost child labor or child marriage. In other words, CVA help remove economic barriers that children and their families encounter in their access to essential goods and services, such asfood, shelter, water, sanitation, hygiene, education, and transport to access services that are provided free of charge. Because of this, CVA can address child protection risks when these have economic roots.

As child protection risk root causes are rarely purely economic, CVA alone is not enough, and it needs to be integrated with other interventions in child protection and other sectors in order to be effective.

From a coordination perspective, the three main forms of CVA to which the child protection sector can connect are multipurpose cash (MPC), CVA for food and CVA for education. It is still relatively rare to have CVA with explicit child protection objectives and funded by the child protection sector. Because of this, integrating CVA in the child protection sub-sections of HNOs and HRPs requires coordination with other clusters and with the Cash Working Group (CWG) .