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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 5 of 182 Glossary terms


Labelling is the naming of a cash intervention in terms of the objectives the implementing organization aims to achieve (e.g., cash for shelter) and associated messaging to remind people why they are receiving the cash transfers and influence their spending accordingly. Within social protection programming this type of approach is often called ‘soft conditionality’ . Labelling might also be done in combination with other complementary programming activities. Sector-specific cash interventions are often labelled and might actively encourage recipients to spend the cash on items or services which will contribute to achieving sectoral objectives.

Labour Market Analysis

Labour market analysis is about understanding the constraints, capabilities and potential to expand labour opportunities within the market system. In humanitarian contexts, this includes consideration of how target populations in particular access the labour markets and how to strengthen and support existing market actors [Labour Market Analysis in Humanitarian Contexts]

Labour Market System

A labour market system is a market system within which people sell their labour (supply), and others buy this labour (demand).

[Adapted from Labour Market Analysis in Humanitarian Contexts]


Liquidity refers to the ease with which an asset can be converted into ready cash without affecting its market price – i.e., the extent to which something can be quickly bought or sold at a price reflecting its intrinsic value. The most liquid asset of all is cash itself. Liquidity is also used to refer to the availability of cash (banknotes and coins) in an economy, as well as to how easy people can borrow/lend money.
A liquidity crisis is a financial situation characterized by a lack of cash or easily-convertible-to ash assets on hand across many businesses or financial institutions simultaneously. In contexts of depreciation , governments can impose cash withdrawal caps limiting the amount that account holders can withdraw. This can restrict the options available for humanitarian organisations to deliver cash assistance and make payments to providers.

[Partially adapted from Investopedia]

Load Volume

For prepaid cards or mobile money, the total amount to be loaded onto cards or mobile wallets. This is also known as “payment volume.” but payment volume may also refer to the amount spent by card/wallet holders.