a. Background and rationale
This document presents good practices to help humanitarian actors design and implement cash programs, including multi-purpose cash transfers (MPC) and cash transfers for sector results. The rationale for this paper is the growing challenge of inflation and currency depreciation in contexts where humanitarian cash assistance is being implemented and/or could be implemented. The need to document existing practices has been underscored by COVID-19, which has exacerbated economic volatility in many humanitarian settings and increased humanitarian needs. It is an area of continuous learning; it is therefore a compendium of best practices to date, and the document is intended to be updated regularly.
The document was written collaboratively by the Donor Cash Forum (DCF), considering the role of donors in ensuring the best use of funds to achieve humanitarian results and in fostering Coherence and Value for Money (VFM) among humanitarian actors. It is in line with the intent of the Joint Donor Statement on Humanitarian Cash Transfers to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of cash assistance – but does not constitute donor guidance per se.
The content comes from a consultative process coordinated by the CaLP network. The consultation process involved dedicated CWG meetings and written comments. Contributions were received with gratitude from donors, cash working groups and the Global Food Security Cluster, individual agencies and individual consultants (see Acknowledgments for details). This consultation was complemented by a review of the existing literature on the subject, which has been referenced throughout the document.
b. Document overview, including audience
The document begins with an overview of key concepts, presented in an accessible way to humanitarian actors. The guidance portion of the document is intended to reflect the response analysis process and is structured as follows: situation analysis, response analysis and response options. It contains the kind of information and analysis needed to make programming decisions in these contexts. It is not intended to provide tailored solutions, but rather to help guide and inform decision-making.
Examples from different contexts have been integrated as text boxes throughout the text. These are meant to illustrate the concepts and show how the steps and options have been implemented in practice. In addition, in-depth case studies on Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Lebanon and Yemen were developed alongside the review. These illustrate the type of analysis and decision-making processes carried out in these countries. Lessons learned from these case studies have also been incorporated as text boxes throughout the text.
The document is relevant to different humanitarian audiences, namely coordinating bodies, in particular Species Working Groups (CWGs), individual agencies and donors. The implications of the different steps and options for these different audiences are described. The document is also relevant for contexts “only” affected by inflation.