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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. 

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Showing 6 of 182 Glossary terms

Fiat Currency

‘Fiat’ means a formal authorization. ‘Fiat currency’ is a common type of currency issued by official order, and whose value is based on the issuing authority’s guarantee to pay the stated (face) amount on demand. A fiat currency’s value is underpinned by the strength of the government that issues it, not its worth in gold or silver. All national currencies in circulation, issued and managed by the respective central banks, are fiat currencies.

[Adapted from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/fiat-currency.html]

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance encompasses any financial assistance received by an individual or household to help them alleviate humanitarian needs. This assistance may be provided through a range of mechanisms, including institutions (state or non-state) or directly from other individuals. It could include: assistance categorised as Overseas Development Assistance, government-led social assistance, peer-to-peer giving, insurance-backed mechanisms (including direct support to markets), Universal Basic Income, remittances, etc.

Financial Inclusion

People are financially included when they have access to a full suite of quality financial services, provided at affordable prices, in a convenient manner, and with dignity. Financial services – transactions, payments, savings, credit, and insurance – are delivered by a range of providers, most of them private, and reach everyone who can use them, including disabled, poor, rural, and other excluded populations. Financial inclusion strives to remove the supply and demand side barriers that exclude people from participating in the financial sector and using these services to improve their lives.

[Adapted from Center for Financial Inclusion and Investopedia]

Financial Service Provider (FSP) (key term)

A financial service provider (FSP) is an entity that provides financial services, which may include digital payment services. Depending upon your context, FSPs may include e-voucher companies, financial institutions (such as banks and microfinance institutions) or mobile network operators (MNOs). FSPs also includes many entities (such as investment funds, insurance companies, accountancy firms) beyond those that offer cash transfers or voucher services, hence within CVA literature FSP generally refers to those providing transfer services. In the context of CVA, entities that would typically be categorized as payment service providers (PSPs) tend to be included under the FSP umbrella. PSPs are third party entities that help merchants to accept a range of payment methods by connecting them to the broader financial infrastructure. They work with acquiring banks (payment processors) to securely manage transactions from start to finish.

Framework Agreement

An outline of a contract, also known as an umbrella contract, or master services contract, with suppliers/service providers. Call off or draw down agreements are similar but include financial information. This usage was provided by the private sector. Humanitarian agencies may use the term differently.

Fungible

Fungible refers to items or commodities that can be exchanged with other assets or commodities of the same type. Fungible assets must have an agreed-upon value and be interchangeable with other items of similar value. Money is fungible e.g., any $10 USD bill is worth the same amount as another $10 USD bill, or any combination of coins and notes adding up to $10 USD. Currency (both fiat currencies and most cryptocurrencies) is a fungible asset because it can be exchanged for other currencies, goods, services, etc.