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Cash 101: Cash and Voucher Assistance Explained

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Social Protection

The prevalence of long term and recurrent crises pushes humanitarians to look for more effective, efficient, and sustainable ways to respond.  Linking social protection and humanitarian response - or developing more flexible social protection systems to respond to crises – could potentially address underlying poverty, build resilience, speed response and support localisation of humanitarian action.  Yet, where crises are most severe and long term, social protection systems are often weakest. What is the role of humanitarian (and other) actors in supporting an effective whole of cash response? What opportunities does the extensive use of social protection systems as a response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic provide for strengthening linkages with CVA?

Context

The State of the World’s Cash 2020 report found:

  • Working with, through and alongside social protection systems is now considered key to strengthening the humanitarian-development nexus and humanitarians are increasingly active in this space
  • Practitioners find that the three biggest challenges to effective linkages are: (i) lack of coordination between the actors involved, (ii) social protection systems are not designed to respond to crises, (iii) humanitarian practitioners lack expertise in social protection
  • Critically, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to linking CVA and social protection. Trade-offs between efficiency, effectiveness, accountability, and sustainability must be considered to ensure the best outcomes for people living in crisis and depends on context, existing systems, and timeframe. Linking will not always be appropriate and social protection systems may not meet all needs. In many contexts, in the short to medium term at least, humanitarian programming will be required to fill gaps.

Current Priorities

The CALP Network has invested intensely in this thematic area over the last few years. We will continue to work closely with the SPIAC-B Working group on linking humanitarian (cash) assistance and social protection (formerly the Grand Bargain Sub-Workstream on Social Protection) and with the SocialProtection.org platform and the Online Community Social Protection in Crisis Contexts to develop evidence, produce capacity building materials and provide technical support to coordination actors.

Community of Practice

SocialProtection.org hosts a dynamic and collaborative online community of practice (CoP) bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds interested in expanding social protection in crisis-prone areas. The CoP offers a space to exchange documents, insights, and news in order to progress and learn together. Its inclusive and member-led approach offers organisations and individual members a forum to increase learning and outreach, facilitating the exchange of experiences and expanding knowledge. A discussion group hosted by dgroups.org complements these activities by connecting users rapidly via email.

SPACE

There are a wealth of relevant resources from ‘Social Protection Approaches To Covid-19: Expert Advice’ (SPACE) published in the CALP library.

 

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