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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.

 

Latest

Responding to Shocks Using Social Protection: Principles and a Framework for NGOs

Guidelines and Tools

This overview provides an initial operational framework to guide decision-making as NGOs engage with SP systems and programmes. It outlines key guiding principles and specifies the value-add of NGOs engaging with systems of SP. It aims to complement and balance the considerable existing work aimed at,...

26 October 2021

Oxfam’s humanitarian social protection approaches in the context of COVID-19

Report

A learning brief illustrating how responses can strengthen social protection systems

October 2021

Armenia Cash Transfer Standard Operating Procedures to support Government-led cash based programmes

Report

The sub-working group on humanitarian cash transfer programming, within the UN Coordination Steering Group, gathers more than 20 organizations – comprising UN agencies, humanitarian NGOs and development partners. The group is working together to develop common and aligned approaches to cash-based...

25 September 2021

SPACE Adaptive social protection and decentralisation: a conceptual framework

Guidelines and Tools

The purpose of this paper is to provide an entry point for discussion of -and practical engagement with- the potential for linking the Adaptive Social Protection and Decentralisation agendas, in the first instance by technicians and practitioners within the German Development Cooperation. The need to...

22 September 2021

SPACE Framework for shifting bilateral programmes to local actors

Guidelines and Tools

This document presents an initial framing developed to support analysis of separation of functions, Value for Money and risk, to help facilitate a shift from UN/INGO led programmes, to locally-led models that draw on the complementarities between UN, INGO and LNO key strengths. It also reports on the...

31 August 2021

SPACE Direct support to local actors: considerations for donors

Guidelines and Tools

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the critical role of local actors, including governments, and local and national NGOs, in the design and delivery of programming. Movement restrictions and a rapid scale-up of humanitarian and social protection assistance to new populations have driven a greater focus...

31 August 2021

Exploring Self-Reliance at the Humanitarian-Development Nexus: A Longer-Term Review of MPCA Outcomes

Report

Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA) is provided to extremely socio-economically vulnerable individuals to alleviate financial hardship. In Iraq, MPCA is intended to act as temporary consumption support so that households may eventually be linked with social protection assistance or return to...

30 August 2021

We Don’t Do a Lot for Them Specifically

Report

Cash based assistance is a large part of government and NGO responses to social protection needs during the COVID-19 crisis. But is this assistance reaching people with diverse SOGIESC (aka LGBTIQ+ people). There are clear needs, borne of systemic discrimination, including loss of informal sector work,...

August 2021

We Don’t Do a Lot for Them Specifically – Quick Guide

Report

August 2021

How to promote better nutrition through social assistance – A guidance note

Guidelines and Tools

This guidance is intended to inform the design or adaptation of the following social assistance interventions to make them more nutrition-sensitive (see Box 1): cash transfers, cash-plus, in-kind transfers, school feeding, and public works programmes.

31 July 2021

CALP Online: Core CVA Skills for Programme Staff Course

Course

Do you aim to continually develop your professional skills around Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA)? The CALP Network's online course will strengthen your CVA expertise and your ability to design and implement high-quality programming.

21 July 2021 / English / 3. Application

World Food Programme Strategy for Support to Social Protection

Policy paper

In July 2021 WFP launched its Strategy for Support to Social Protection. It explains how WFP will contribute to the development of high quality national social protection systems and programmes in contexts of food insecurity, as a complement to its work responding directly to food security-related...

1 July 2021

Cash 101: Cash and Voucher Assistance Explained

Explore the Cash 101