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Glossary of Terms

First published in 2011, the CALP Glossary is designed to facilitate a common understanding and harmonized use of terms and definitions for cash and voucher assistance (CVA). 

It should be noted that these definitions apply to the use of CVA in humanitarian programming and may not reflect how some terms are understood in other contexts or by other audiences. 

The glossary, last updated in 2023, is available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish in both an online and PDF format. 

It is also available in German and Portuguese but in a PDF format only. 


Showing 19 of 182 Glossary terms

Data Portability

Data portability generally describes models and standards aimed at facilitating requests for data to be transferred to a person or third party. It allows a person to obtain and reuse the data they have provided to one organization (and IT system) for their own purposes across different services and organizations (and different IT systems).

[Definition adapted from Currion et. al for CCD (2022)]

Data Responsibility

Data responsibility goes beyond data privacy and data protection (the process of safeguarding important information from corruption, compromise, or loss) to include principles, processes and tools that support the safe, ethical, and effective management of data. CVA involves the collection, sharing and use of potentially sensitive data (which if improperly accessed could lead to harm to person(s) and/or negatively affect organizations) about crisis affected people, communities, locations, and humanitarian interventions, hence incorporating data responsibility throughout the programme cycle is important.

[Adapted from CALP (2021)]


De-risking is the phenomenon of financial institutions terminating or restricting business relationships with clients or categories of clients to avoid, rather than manage, risk. The risk referred to in “de-risking” is a client who could pose a higher-than-average risk of money laundering or terrorism financing or that processing transactions might result in a breach of sanctions regulation.

[Adapted from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)]

Delivery Mechanism (key term)

A delivery mechanism in humanitarian CVA is a means of delivering/transferring cash or vouchers to recipients (e.g., smart card, mobile money transfer, over the counter, cheque, ATM card, etc.).
Some delivery mechanisms may also facilitate receipt, storage, and payments (e.g., mobile wallet, bank account, smart card, etc.).

Delivery System

This term is used in social protection to encompass all the operational processes in the social protection programme cycle. Delivery systems constitute the operating environment for implementing social protection programmes along the phases of the delivery chain. These phases are common to most social protection programmes and include outreach, intake and registration, assessment, enrolment, provision of payments or services, and monitoring and management of recipients. Key players interact all along that delivery chain, including people and institutions.
NB. Delivery system is distinct from the term delivery mechanism as it is defined and used in humanitarian CVA, which refers only to the means of transferring and receiving assistance.

[Adapted from Sourcebook on the Foundations of Social Protection Delivery Systems]

Demand Elasticity (Elasticity of Demand)

A measure of how sensitive to price changes is the quantity demanded by buyers. Goods on which people cut back sharply when prices rise, or incomes are reduced (e.g., luxury items) have ‘elastic demand’ [PCMA].


Depreciation is a fall in the value of a currency. Typically, this occurs within a floating exchange rate system, but there may also be depreciation of market or parallel exchange rates in contexts of fixed exchange rates. Depreciation is usually reported as a percentage fall in the value of the local currency relative to hard currency.

[Definition adapted from Good Practice Review on Cash Assistance in Contexts of High Inflation and Depreciation ]

Design Tweaks (for shock responsive social protection)

Design tweaks are small adjustments to the design of a routine social protection programme to take into consideration the crises that a country typically faces. It can introduce flexibility to maintain provision of the regular service for existing recipients in the event of a shock. Or it can strengthen the design of the programme to improve its coverage, timeliness, or predictability in the event of a crisis. ‘Design tweaks’ is part of the ‘typology of options for shock responsive social protection’, for conceptualising possible linkages between humanitarian assistance and social protection.

[Adapted from OPM (2019)


Devaluation occurs when a country lowers its exchange rate in a fixed or semi-fixed exchange rate regime. This contrasts with depreciation whereby, under a floating exchange rate system, the rate is set by the market. Devaluation affects prices in the same way as depreciation.

[Definition adapted from Good Practice Review on Cash Assistance in Contexts of High Inflation and Depreciation ]

Digital Financial Capability

Digital financial capability is defined as the knowledge (literacy), attitudes and skills that enable a person to actively use digital financial services. Interventions that aim to build a person’s digital financial capability are critical to ensuring that they can adopt and effectively use digital financial services.

[Definition adapted from Women’s World Banking]

Digital Financial Inclusion

Digital financial inclusion is defined as access to and use of affordable digital financial products and services (e.g., payments, savings, loans, insurance), suited to the customers’ needs and delivered responsibly. Individuals are capable and confident in using the financial products and services to store value, transact, build credit, take out loans, save and access other financial services. Such services should be affordable for customers and sustainable for the private sector, whilst respecting customer rights and protection standards. Cash transfers can be a starting point for Digital Financial Inclusion by providing first-time access to accounts(bank and mobile money accounts) and financial services to unbanked and underserved populations and their businesses.

[Definition adapted from CGAP and BMGF]

Digital ID

A digital identity (ID) is a collection of features and characteristics associated with a uniquely identifiable individual which is stored and authenticated in the digital sphere. Good digital ID is identification that is verified and authenticated to a high degree of assurance over digital channels, unique, established with individual consent, and protects user privacy and ensures control over personal data. It might be used for transactions and interactions, and potentially to access services such as banking, government benefits, and education.

[Adapted from Mckinsey and]

Digital Payment (key term)

Digital payments (or e-transfers) refer to electronic transfers of money or e-vouchers from the implementing agency to a recipient. They provide access to cash, goods and/or services through mobile devices, electronic vouchers, or cards (e.g., prepaid, ATM, smart, credit, debit cards). Digital payments/e-transfers are umbrella terms for e-cash and e-vouchers.

Disaster Risk Financing

Disaster risk financing is having plans, systems, and finance in place before an event to ensure that adequate finance can flow rapidly and effectively in an emergency, reducing impacts and speeding recovery. It involves quantifying risks in advance, pre-positioning funds, and releasing them according to pre-agreed plans. This ex-ante approach can complement more traditional ex-post aid by providing a predictable, well-defined tranche of funding much earlier and faster, based on pre-agreed indicators and protocols. Forecast based financing is a form of disaster risk financing.

[Definition from]


Disbursement refers to the transfer of funds to recipients e.g., the transfer of a digital payment to a recipient’s bank account, card, mobile money account, etc.


Distribution encompasses the distribution of physical items (e.g., currency, paper voucher, ATM card, smart card, SIM card, etc.). The term may also be used to refer to the broader distribution process, including both the preparatory activities and the distribution itself.


Dollarization is when a country officially begins to recognize USD as a medium of exchange or legal tender alongside or in place of its domestic currency. This is distinct from unofficial dollarization, which occurs when dollars are ‘illegally’ used as a form of tender. Dollarization typically occurs when the local currency has become unstable and begun to lose its usefulness as a medium of exchange for market transactions, or to anchor inflation expectations. Within CVA, the dollarization of assistance can potentially include both distributing USD to recipients or pegging the value of transfers in the local currency to a USD amount. The objective in both cases is to maintain the purchasing power of the assistance.

[Adapted from Good Practice Review on Cash Assistance in Contexts of High Inflation and Depreciation]

Due Diligence

Due diligence describes the scrutiny financial institutions (and others) are required to perform to thwart, identify and report violations of AML/CTF and other relevant financial regulations. Customer due diligence (CDD) requires ongoing assessment of the risk of money laundering posed by each client, for example identifying customers as they are added to sanctions and other AML lists.
CDD is an integral part of the KYC process, by ensuring the information provided is accurate and legitimate. Simplified due diligence (SDD) is the lowest level of due diligence. It may not require verification of identity documentation and usually applies only where there is little opportunity or risk for money laundering or terrorist financing. Customer type, geographical location, the financial product involved, and national regulations, will influence if SDD is applicable.

Adapted from [Investopedia]


Duplication can refer to registration and/or assistance. Duplication of registration is the registration of the same individual or household in multiple data management systems. Duplication of assistance refers to the same individual or household being enrolled more than once in a single programme, or in multiple programmes with the same or similar objectives. When individuals or households receive duplicate assistance, they may be considered duplicate recipients and in receipt of resources that could be more equitably allocated to another recipient to enable wider aid coverage.
Deduplication is the process of identifying duplicate individuals or households, most commonly to determine if they are on programmes with overlapping objectives to decide if they should be removed from one of the programmes. Deduplication can also be used to improve referrals between programmes by avoiding making multiple referrals of the same individual or household and allowing the referrals to be tracked and feedback on the quality of services to be sought.