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State of the World’s Cash 2020 Chapter 5: Coordination


There has been very limited progress on agreeing the role, scope, leadership and resourcing of cash coordination since 2017, with particular issues around multipurpose cash.

90% of key informants noted that the global impasse on cash coordination continues to have real operational impacts, limiting opportunities for collaboration and for improving the quality and impact of CVA.

Efforts to resolve outstanding questions around cash coordination have failed, in part because they have not taken enough account of the factors inhibiting change.


Cash challenges the established coordination and funding architecture. Expecting organisations to make high-stakes changes that are perceived to be against their interest is not realistic; advocacy must better consider incentives for change.

Options to overcome the coordination impasse include (i) assign leadership to the main cash actor in each response (ii) assign an operational agency to lead cash coordination globally (iii) coordinate cash through the inter-cluster coordination group (ICCG) or, (iv) embark on more fundamental, longer term changes to coordination (not cash specific).


Despite the lack global agreement, experience in cash coordination at response level is growing, with Cash Working Groups generating new tools, approaches and learning.

Cash Working Groups are contributing to the efficiency and effectiveness of programming but would benefit from better resourcing (e.g. through humanitarian response plans) and inclusion in strategic decision-making at response level.


  • The Grand Bargain Political Blockages Group and Donor Group should continue to advocate for standardising a predictable approach to cash coordination by international actors. Decisions should prioritise what makes most sense for affected populations.
  • The Donor Group and Grand Bargain Political Blockages Group should approach the IASC again, with clear options and recommendations.
  • Donors and other response level decision-makers should ensure Cash Working Groups (CWGs) are adequately resourced and have strong links to the rest of the response architecture.
  • CWG leads, members and other relevant stakeholders should ensure more systematic sharing and capturing of learning between CWGs.