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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

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

Linking Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) and Social Protection – Lebanon: Country Summary

Report

This country summary is part of a larger resource set, providing practitioners with examples of different approaches to linking CVA
and social protection.

July 2021

SPACE Overcoming barriers to coordinating across social protection and humanitarian assistance – building on promising practices

Policy paper

The importance of strong coordination between actors preparing, designing and implementing shock responses is well accepted. This has been highlighted specifically concerning shock responsive social protection (SRSP) as well as linking humanitarian action and social protection (HA-SP). However, despite...

30 June 2021

SPACE Deciding when and how to link humanitarian assistance and social protection: guidance and tools for response analysis

Policy paper

This short paper presents two complementary ‘Tools’ to guide thinking and decisionmaking on humanitarian programme design, providing the basis for conducting a comprehensive response analysis to inform decisions on linking HA-SP. These can be used to determine the likely feasibility and...

30 June 2021

Integrating gender and inclusion in social protection response to COVID-19: What have we learnt?

Policy paper

COVID-19 has exacerbated existing inequalities for women and girls and persons with disabilities. During the pandemic, women have been more likely than men to drop out of the labour force, have shouldered an unequal burden of unpaid care work, and are facing increased threats from gender-based violence...

30 June 2021

Transfers with Impact – Pathway to Link Humanitarian Cash to Social Protection through Social Accountability

Policy paper

In response to the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic, governments have introduced over 1,600 social protection measures in almost all the world’s countries and territories. Cash assistance – a critical intervention in supporting the world’s most vulnerable people – also grew by 240% during...

24 June 2021

SPACE What are future financing options for shock responsive social protection? (Summary Brief)

Policy paper

This paper, and the longer Technical Primer that accompanies it, are designed to inform discussions around financing shock-responsive social protection (SRSP). It starts by clarifying terms and providing a framing to guide approaches to SRSP financing. It then provides a high-level overview of current and...

31 May 2021

SPACE Gender and Social Protection in the COVID-19 Economic Recovery: Opportunities and Challenges

Policy paper

This paper analyses the potential contribution of social protection to a gender-transformative economic recovery over the medium term, defined as running from the present to the end of 2022. It builds on the existing Social Protection Approaches to COVID-19 Expert (SPACE) advice publication; SPACE Social...

31 May 2021

What are future financing options for shock responsive social protection? A technical primer

Guidelines and Tools

This paper aims to advance these discussions in a number of ways. As ‘financing for SRSP’ is understood differently by different people, it starts by providing greater clarity on what this term constitutes, and its relation to disaster risk finance. It acknowledges the broad potential remit of...

31 May 2021

Social protection and climate change: scaling up ambition

Policy paper

Social protection can be a strategic tool for climate risk management and provides an important answer to the current calls for climate action and for increased resilience as we recover from COVID-19. The Paris Agreement demands rapid action to keep the average temperature from rising above 1.5 degrees,...

31 May 2021

SPACE Summary Brief: What are future financing options for shock responsive social protection?

Guidelines and Tools

This paper, and the longer Technical Primer that accompanies it, are designed to inform discussions around financing shock-responsive social protection (SRSP). It starts by clarifying terms and providing a framing to guide approaches to SRSP financing. It then provides a high-level overview of current and...

31 May 2021

SPACE Social protection and climate change: scaling up ambition (Summary Brief)

Policy paper

Climate change, once perceived as a long-term environmental issue, is now an immediate threat to safety and prosperity, especially for the most vulnerable people that are hit hardest by increasing weather extremes. The impacts cannot be managed just by reducing greenhouse gas emissions or by small tweaks...

31 May 2021

SPACE Drivers of Timely and Large-Scale Cash Responses to COVID-19: what does the data say?

Guidelines and Tools

This note compares the experiences of 53 low- and middle-income countries to identify drivers of timely and large-scale government social assistance responses to COVID-19. The analysis covers cash responses only and focuses on the capacity of the social protection sector and beyond. It compares response...

31 May 2021

SPACE Better responding to shocks through social protection: COVID-19 insights on identifying and responding to dynamic poverty

Policy paper

The Coronavirus pandemic has affected substantial proportions of the population raising questions about how social protection systems could be used to respond. One of the key policy questions emerging is how to deal with a sudden, large-scale increase in poverty levels. This paper relies on pre-existing...

31 May 2021

Forecast based financing – lessons learned on early actions with cash transfers

Report

The objective of the document is to present the lessons learned related to the implementation of early actions with cash transfers as part of the forecast-based financing mechanism implemented by the World Food Programme in the Yaque del Norte watershed in the Dominican Republic.

27 May 2021

Minding the (financial and digital) gap! – How informal social safety nets leverage digital & cash enablers in COVID-19 pandemic

Presentation

Minding the (financial and digital) gap! – How informal social safety nets leverage digital & cash enablers in COVID-19 pandemic: In every context, strengthening the links between cash transfers, savings groups and digitisation contributes to resilient recovery from COVID-19. Representatives of...

17 May 2021

Linking Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) and Social Protection – Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT): Country Summary

Report

This country summary is part of a larger resource set, providing practitioners with examples of different approaches to linking CVA
and social protection.

May 2021

Linking Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) and Social Protection – Turkey: Country Summary

Report

This country summary is part of a larger resource set, providing practitioners with examples of different approaches to linking CVA
and social protection.

May 2021

Transfer Values: How Much Is Enough? Balancing social protection and humanitarian considerations

Policy paper

This Operational Guidance paper follows on from two blogs published by SPACE on the subject of transfer values across the social protection and humanitarian nexus (here and here). This note dives even deeper into the topic, highlighting some key elements that could be considered when setting transfer...

30 April 2021

Cash 101: Cash and Voucher Assistance Explained

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