The State of the World’s Cash 2020
As outlined in the Executive Summary, we have seen four key shifts since the first report, all of which have been accelerated and influenced by the COVID-19 crisis. These are the rise and rise of CVA, CVA challenging a sector-based system, an increased emphasis on recipient perspectives and CVA driving a more local, more diverse humanitarian system, including stronger links with governments. You can find an overview and links below to each of the 10 thematic chapters:
Methodology and Annexes
Primary and secondary research was undertaken between September 2019 and March 2020 and drew on inputs from 254 practitioners, a survey of 34 organisations, 15 regional and country-based focus group discussions, in-depth interviews with 80 CVA experts and an extensive literature review. As with the first report, progress is tracked against the objectives of the Global Framework for Action (GFA) with additional chapters on localisation, social protection and the impact of COVID-19.
Chapter 1: Funding, Policies, Volume, and Collaboration
In the past four years the global volume of CVA has doubled and in 2019 accounted for 17.9% of international humanitarian assistance. Tracking of CVA volume data is improving and 91% of practitioners perceive that support from donors has increased. This chapter asks: ‘As the global volume of CVA rapidly increases, is the scale up being managed collaboratively and with quality in mind?’
Chapter 2: Mainstreaming CVA - Progress; Risks and Challenges
CVA is an increasingly common and well-understood tool in humanitarian response - 85% of practitioners perceive that there has been more systematic consideration of CVA over the last 2 years.This chapter asks: ‘How can ambitions for scaling up CVA be met whilst also pushing for better, more integrated programming across the humanitarian system?’
Chapter 3: Quality Programming
67% of practitioners report that the quality of CVA has increased in the last two years. The focus for improving CVA has gradually shifted from increased scale, to improved quality and more recently towards quality as defined by outcomes for recipients. This chapter asks: ‘How can we continue to increase the quality of CVA and programming more generally by further embedding recipient perspectives and collaborating and sharing learning?’
Chapter 4: Build sufficient capacity for cash and voucher assistance
Since 2018 individual and organisational CVA capacities have improved, and are having a positive impact on the timeliness and scale of CVA. But dedicated funding for CVA capacity building is generally insufficient and unpredictable and recruiting and retaining skilled staff remains a challenge. This chapter asks: ‘How can the humanitarian sector improve CVA capacities across the whole system, increase investment in local systems and meet the demand for new and specialized profiles?’
Chapter 5: Coordination
There has been very limited progress on cash coordination since 2017. Cash continues to challenge the established coordination and funding architecture, and efforts to resolve outstanding questions around cash coordination have failed. Despite the lack of global agreement, Cash Working Groups are pushing forward and contributing to improved programming, and generating new approaches. This chapter asks: ‘How can donors and decision makers break the global impasse on cash coordination and build on the progress made by Cash Working Groups to improve programming?’
Chapter 6A: Evidence
Three-quarters of practitioners agree that they have the evidence needed to design quality CVA. However some critical evidence gaps remain for example around recipient choice and wellbeing, cost effectiveness and the use of CVA in combination with other aid modalities. This chapter asks: ‘How can humanitarian stakeholders ensure well coordinated and transparent approaches to research and learning which address evidence gaps?’
Chapter 6B: Investing for innovation
Since 2017, the appetite for CVA innovation has decreased slightly as has the percentage of practitioners (46%) who agree that humanitarian agencies and private sector actors are developing effective working relationships in CVA programmes. Despite this, digital finance and the use of mobile money has continued to grow, progress has been made in digital identity provision and in understanding how recipients value digital innovation. This chapter asks: ‘How can the humanitarian sector continue to innovate and build more effective partnerships to use and develop more inclusive, people-centred technology and other innovations?’
Chapter 7: Support to CVA integration with local systems
For a relevant and sustainable response , the role of local actors and local systems is critical. There is a growing consensus regarding the importance of localisation within CVA, but little clarity on how to drive this forward in practice. Progress on localisation requires humanitarian actors to be actively committed to shifting the balance of power. This chapter asks: ‘How can CVA support a shift in power to local actors in the humanitarian sector, based on changes to ways of working and the development of equitable partnerships?’
Chapter 8: Linkages between SP and CVA
Longstanding efforts to strengthen links between humanitarian CVA and social protection have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with significant progress since the last report. CVA should aim to complement robust social protection systems where they exist and contribute to their strengthening where they are weak or early-stage. This chapter asks: ‘What opportunities and challenges exist in terms of improving the links between CVA and social protection, and where and when is this appropriate and effective?’
Chapter 9: COVID-19 and CVA - Impacts and Implications of the Crisis and Response
CVA is being scaled up significantly in response to COVID-19, but the overall gap between needs and funding is growing rapidly. The pandemic has incurred an extraordinary human cost, but also presents an opportunity to redefine the humanitarian system to better serve the needs of crisis-affected people. This chapter asks: ‘How might the COVID-19 response provide the momentum needed to improve the CVA system and build back better?’
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