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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 7 of 182 Glossary terms

Real Prices

Prices adjusted for inflation to reflect the purchasing power of the currency with respect to a ‘base’ year, usually using a consumer price index for the corresponding year.


Reconciliation is a process that compares two sets of records to check that data are correct and in agreement. For CVA interventions, the focus is primarily on reconciling outgoing funds from the organizational level with assistance received by recipients. It is a regular and ongoing process that ensures cash and/or voucher transfers (or other modalities of assistance) are accounted for, valid, and authorized, and errors and discrepancies are detected and addressed. For CVA this generally means comparing transactions and activity to supporting databases, records, and documentation such as recipient lists, transfer records, payment orders, etc. This will involve both organizational and service provider records as relevant.

[Partially adapted from RCRC Cash in Emergencies Toolkit]


Derived from the word remit (“to send back”), strictly a remittance is any payment of money transferred to another party. However, remittance is largely used to describe money sent back home by someone working abroad. Remittances constitute the largest source of overseas income in some countries and while they do not form part of humanitarian CVA, similar delivery mechanisms may be used.

Remittance Companies

Remittance companies’ only, or primary, service is wiring or transferring money electronically between locations, often from abroad. These companies may provide a cash collection service, whereby the sender pays cash to have money transferred. An increasing number of companies provide services where remittances can be sent and received fully digitally, for example using mobile phone applications. Digital models can reduce costs and make the process faster and more secure.

Response Analysis (key term)

Response analysis is the link between situation analysis (broadly speaking, needs assessment and other contextual information) and programme design. It involves the selection of programme response options, modalities , and target groups; and should be informed by considerations of appropriateness and feasibility and should simultaneously address needs while analysing and minimizing potential harmful side-effects.
[Maxwell, D. 2013]

Restriction (key term)

Restriction refers to limits on the use of assistance by recipients. Restrictions apply to the range of goods and services that the assistance can be used to purchase, and the places where it can be used. The degree of restriction may vary – from the requirement to buy specific items, to buying from a general category of goods or services.
Vouchers are restricted transfers by default since they are inherently limited in where, when and how they can be used. In-kind assistance is also restricted. Cash transfers are unrestricted and can be used as recipients choose .
Note: restrictions are distinct from conditions, which apply only to activities that must be fulfilled to receive assistance.

Retail Price

The monetary value at which goods and services are exchanged at the end of the retail chain i.e. between the seller and the final consumer.