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State of the World’s Cash 2020 Chapter 4: Build sufficient capacity for Cash and Voucher Assistance


Individual and organisational CVA capacities have improved, and are having a positive impact on timeliness and scale. Gaps persist that are impacting the quality of CVA and further scale-up.

Capacity building impacts timeliness and scale of CVA.

78% of organisations agree that capacities built so far have allowed them to increase the timeliness of CVA.

of organisations agree that capacities built so far have enabled them to increase the scale of CVA.


Recruiting and retaining skilled staff remains a challenge, particularly as demand for specialised CVA skills increases.


Organisations are building their “cash readiness” but progress is uneven across different staff profiles, organisations,
and contexts.

There is need to think about the capacity of the CVA system as a whole and increase investment in local systems and stakeholders.

Dedicated funding for CVA capacity development is generally limited, insufficient and unpredictable for most organisations – national and international.




There is demand for new, specialized, skills and profiles. This is creating new capacity gaps in relation to: technology, data systems and digitisation of CVA; social protection; accountability and recipient perspectives; relationship management, communication, and coordination.

The availability of, and access to, capacity building opportunities has increased, but more work is needed to ensure opportunities are accessible to all organisations. Training materials need to be adapted to different operational contexts, be available in different languages and online training needs to be strengthened.


  • All humanitarian actors should consider how their capacity development efforts can benefit others, not just themselves. A stronger system will enable sustainable progress in terms of scale, quality, and inclusion.
  • Donors should systematically fund capacity development processes based on clearly identified needs of individual organisations and shared needs.
  • Donors, international and local organisations should invest in national cash readiness based on local actors’ needs and priorities.
  • Humanitarian organisations should develop more responsive and adaptable approaches to capacity building and organisational planning based on changing needs in terms of skillsets and systems.
  • Course developers and training providers should adapt trainings to different operational contexts, languages and stakeholders. They should reinforce e-learning and self-paced learning as flexible and accessible approaches.