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The State of the World’s Cash 2023: Methodology

15 November 2023

Research for the State of the World’s Cash 2023 drew on primary and secondary sources. It involved a wide range of stakeholders working in different operational contexts and with roles at global, regional, country, and local levels.

This section provides an overview of the methodology, see Methodology Annex for more details.

Primary research was undertaken between September 2022 and March 2023, with views gathered from people working for local organizations, INGOs, UN agencies, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement , governments, government donors and the private sector, alongside individual experts.

CALP worked in conjunction with Development Initiatives to conduct a survey of 2022 CVA volume data. This followed an established methodology for calculating CVA volumes and included the extraction of data from OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service database.

Quantitative research included a practitioner survey, similar to that used for the first two State of the World’s Cash reports with additional questions to capture new trends. The sample size for the practitioner survey is three times larger than for the previous report, with 860 responses. 99 key informant interviews were conducted. To help contextualize the research and ensure a wide range of perspectives, 21 focus group discussions were conducted – 8 with stakeholders with global roles, 10 with regional roles and 3 with country focused roles.

Secondary research included an extensive literature review of documentation and resources published since 2020. This helped frame the research, inform the primary data collection, and support the analysis and triangulation of primary research findings. Given the large number of CVA publications, secondary research was necessarily selective and conducted on a rolling basis throughout the research and drafting period.

An Advisory Group including a range of institutional and technical professionals (see acknowledgements), provided ongoing quality checks, review, and informed the overall framing of the report. CALP Technical
Advisory Group (TAG) members and other thematic experts provided an external review of chapter drafts.


860 respondents to the practitioner survey in 4 languages



The use of cash and voucher assistance (CVA) terminology reflects the evolution of thinking in the humanitarian sector on this subject. CALP’s Glossary of Terminology for Cash and Voucher Assistance, updated in 2023, is the central reference for relevant CVA terms and definitions for readers of this report.


AAP Accountability to Affected Populations

AI Artificial intelligence

AML Anti-money laundering

API Application Programming Interfaces

A4EP Alliance for Empowering Partnership

ATM Automated Teller Machine

ASP Adaptative Social Protection

BASIC Better Assistance in Crises programme

BIMS Biometric Identity Management System

CAMEALEON Cash Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning Organizational Network

CALP The CALP Network

CAG Cash Advisory Group

CAR Central African Republic

CBT Cash-Based Transfers

CCD Collaborative Cash Delivery Network

CDD Customer Due Diligence

CERF Central Emergency Response Funds

CFM Complaints and Feedback Mechanisms

CFW Cash for work schemes

CGAP Consultative Group to Assist the Poor

COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease 2019

CMP Child Money Programme

CRS Catholic Relief Services

CSO Civil Society Organisation

CTF Counter Terrorism Financing

CVA Cash and voucher assistance

CWG Cash working group

DAM Dhaka Ahsania Mission

DCF Donor Cash Forum

DLT Distributed Ledger Technology

DIGID Dignified Identities in Cash Assistance consortium

DRC Democratic Republic of Congo

DRR Disaster Risk Reduction

DRWG Data Responsibility Working Group

ECHO European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Operations

ERC Enhanced Response Capacity

ERC Emergency Response Coordinator

EPRP Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan

ESSN Emergency Social Safety Net programme

FCAS Fragile and conflict-affected situations

FGD Focus group discussions

FSPs Financial service providers

FTS Financial Tracking Service

GB Grand Bargain

GBV Gender-Based Violence

GCCG Global Cluster Coordination Group

GDPR General Data Protection Regulation

GDT Global Distribution Tool

GEC Global Education Cluster

GHG Greenhouse gases

GHRP Global Humanitarian Response Plan

GFFO German Federal Foreign Office

GMI Global Mentoring Initiative

GPPI Global Public Policy Institute

GTS Ground Truth Solutions

HC Humanitarian coordinators

HCT Humanitarian Country Team

HDX Humanitarian Data Exchange

ERE Humanitarian Exchange and Research Centre

HPC Humanitarian Programme Cycle

HQ Headquarters

HRP Humanitarian Response Plan

IASC Inter Agency Standing Committee

IATI International Aid Transparency Initiative

ICCG Inter-Cluster Coordination Group

ICRC International Committee of the Red Cross

IFRC International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

IHA International Humanitarian Assistance

IMF International Monetary Fund

INGO International Non-Governmental Organisation

ILO International Labour Organization

IRC International Rescue Committee

ISP Information Sharing Protocol

KYC Know Your Customer

LAC Latin America and the Caribbean

LEO Low Earth Orbit

LMMS Last Mile Mobile Solution

LNA Local and national actors

M&E Monitoring and Evaluation

MBP Market-Based Programming

MEAL Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning

MEB Minimum Expenditure Basket

MENA Middle East and North Africa

MiC Markets in Crisis

MIS Management Information System

MNO Mobile Network Operator

MPC Multi-purpose Cash

MPCA Multi-purpose Cash Assistance

MPTF Multi-Partner Trust Fund

NAPC-VDC National Anti-Poverty Commission – Victims of Disaster and Calamities

NGO Non-governmental organizations

NRC Norwegian Refugee Council

OCHA Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

ODA Overseas Development Assistance

ODI Overseas Development Institute

ODK Open Data Kit

OPM Oxford Policy Management

PDM Post-distribution monitoring

PQT Programme Quality Toolbox

PSNP Productive Safety Net Programme

RAM Rapid Assessment for Markets

RC Resident Coordinator

RCRCM Red Cross Red Crescent Movement

RDM Responsible Data Management

SCAN Systematic Cost Analysis

SCOPE WFP recipient and transfer management platform

SDC Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

SPACE Social Protection Approaches to COVID-19

SOPs Standard Operating Procedures

SRSP Shock Responsive Social Protection

TAG CALP Technical Advisory Group

ToRs Terms of Reference

TRC Turkish Red Crescent

UK United Kingdom

UN United Nations

UNCCS United Nations Common Cash Statement

UNHCR United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund

USAID The United States Agency for International Development

VfM Value for Money

VSLA Village Savings and Loans Associations

WaSH Water Sanitation and Hygiene

WB World Bank

WCRS Whole of Cash Response System

WHO World Health Organization

WFP World Food Programme

YFCA Yemen Family Care Association

3PM Third Party Monitoring

3W Who does What, Where