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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 11 of 182 Glossary terms


Identification refers to the process of establishing, determining, or recognising the identity (unique characteristics and features) of an individual. The term identification is also often used to refer to forms of identity documentation (ID) used to prove a person’s identity (e.g., passport, ID card)

[Partially sourced from Owino (2020)]

Identity Verification

Identity verification involves confirming and establishing a link between a claimed identity and the actual living person presenting the evidence. This can for example include verifying that identity documents are genuine, and/or checking the personal data provided against other data sources. Identity verification is central to Know Your Customer (KYC) processes.

[Partially sourced from Owino (2020)]

In-kind Assistance

Humanitarian assistance provided in the form of physical goods or commodities. In-kind assistance is restricted by default as recipients are not able to choose what they are given.


Income refers to the amount of money and other transfers of value received by individuals as compensation for labour, payment for products or services, social protection transfers, among others.

[Definition adapted from Investopedia]


Income Elasticity of Demand

Income elasticity of demand refers to the sensitivity of the quantity demanded for a certain good or service to a change in the income of consumers. With income elasticity of demand, you can tell if a particular good or service represents a necessity or a luxury. This can be relevant to cash transfers in understanding how the consumption of different goods or services may or may not be affected relative to the transfer values provided.

[Partially adapted from Investopedia]


Inflation is an overall rise in the prices of goods and services in an economy, due to a decrease in the value of money, resulting in a sustained drop in the purchasing powerof money. It is typically measured annually at national level based on a Consumer Price Index (CPI) or equivalent. Inflation is different from localised price fluctuations that result from the ebb and flow of the supply and demand for various goods, or due to seasonality or other cyclical or punctual shocks. It is rare for inflation to occur in one region of a country without a localized shock. Inflation in this definition refers to the inflation of prices, as compared to monetary inflation, which is a sustained increase in
the money supply of a country (or currency area), although monetary inflation generally leads to price inflation. A decrease in prices is referred to as deflation.

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

Integrated Beneficiary Registry

Integrated beneficiary registries incorporate data from programme beneficiary registries of several different schemes. They provide a consolidated overview of data collected by different programmes, showing “who receives what” benefits (focusing on beneficiaries alone). These are also variously described as ‘single registry’ or ‘unified beneficiary registry’.

[Definition adapted from]

Integrated Programming

Integrated programming aims to holistically address the needs and risks of affected populations through intentional multi-sectoral, multi-modality, people-centred, and interdisciplinary approaches. The objective is to increase effectiveness, with better outcomes for recipients. As a process, integrated programming can involve multiple organizations working collaboratively to develop common analysis and objectives, for example at a response level. Or it can be applied within a single organization as a holistic approach incorporating multiple objectives and programmes.
Complementary programming shares many features with integrated programming and is a central component thereof. The main distinction between the two is that while complementary programming focuses primarily on the intervention level and achieving a limited number of outcomes (either sector specific, multisectoral, or cross-sectoral) for a specific group of recipients, integrated programming is more focused on the broader processes enabling multi-modality, multisectoral, and people-centred interventions, for example at a response level.

[Partially adapted from NRC]

Interconnected Markets

A market system which, as well as being a market in its own right, is part of the supporting functions or rules of another market system.


Interoperability is the ability of organisations to interact towards mutually beneficial goals, involving the sharing of information and knowledge between organisations, through the business processes they support, by means of exchanging data with other systems using common standards. Data, for example, is interoperable when it can be easily re-used and processed in different applications and systems. Within CVA key focus areas include the interoperability of recipient registries and databases, including between humanitarian and social protection programmes and systems, and interoperability between different financial service providers. Interoperability has technical (e.g., systems) and procedural (e.g., policy) dimensions, and might be either standards-based (i.e., standards agreed by all relevant stakeholders), or developed post-facto (e.g., organisations adapt to be compatible with an existing, dominant system).

[Partially adapted from DG ECHO (2022)]


A programming or decision-making process, approach or activity involving the engagement, inputs, and collaboration of multiple sectors together. An intersectoral approach is important in enabling needs to be assessed, analysed, and addressed holistically, including facilitating interventions that aim to address multiple needs across more than one sector simultaneously.