27. Cash

1. Introduction

For Help Contact:
Holly Welcome Radice
Email: Holly.Radice@care.org
Ciara O'Malley
Email: Ciara.OMalley@care.org
Chiyambi Mataya
Email: Chiyambi.Mataya@care.org

The use of cash transfer programming (CVA) has seen considerable expansion within humanitarian responses at large, as well as with CARE’s work in emergencies.  CVA is a tool that can be used to deliver outcomes in each sector, including Food and Nutrition Security, Agricultural Livelihoods, WASH, Shelter, and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. Cash programming be implemented as multi-purpose cash assistance, which can produce outcomes across different sectors.

Cash Transfer Programming (CTP) Using cash grants or vouchers as economic assistance to enable households or individuals to meet identified needs (e.g. food and non-food items, shelter, services, or assets). CTP is not a sector itself, but a tool that can be used in early recovery or development responses. CTP differs from in-kind programming in that beneficiaries obtain goods and/or services directly from the local market and service providers.

Conditions Cash grants or vouchers are conditional when CARE or its partners are implementing the transfer only after recipients have performed some task or activity as a condition of receiving the transfer. Conditions may include: performing some work (e.g. infrastructure maintenance, repairs, or development, or creation of community assets), undergoing some form of training, enrolling children in school, or having children vaccinated.

Restrictions Cash grants are restricted when CARE or its partners limit how beneficiaries may spend cash. Common conditions include requiring the money to be spent on: food, educational expenses (e.g. school fees, school uniforms, etc.), shelter materials, inputs, assets, or works. Vouchers are restricted by nature.

Multi-purpose and multi-sector CTP Multi-purpose and multi-sector cash programs address needs across the sectors and clusters by which relief operations are traditionally organized. Multi-sector programs address more than one sector in the intervention and are designed to create specific, simultaneous impacts in the sectors involved. In multi-sector programs, M&E and expenditure are monitored by sector to ensure sectoral impacts are felt.

Cash For Work (CfW) This form of conditional cash grant requires beneficiaries to fulfill the condition of ‘work’. Cash for work is different from employment generation, because the primary purpose of cash for work transferring income and resource to people, and the work done is a secondary outcome. CfW can provide the dual benefit of cash income and the individual or collective benefit of the work being done, as well.

Cash grant The provision of money to beneficiaries (individuals, households, groups, communities, or businesses) to cover one or several of their identified needs. Cash grants can be conditional or unconditional and/or restricted or unrestricted.

Cash transfer modality Refers to the different types of cash programming. These include cash grants and vouchers.

Cash payment mechanism/agent This refers to the financial system used for transferring cash or vouchers to beneficiaries, and can include banks, post offices, micro finance institutions, remittance companies, village savings and loan associations (VSLA), etc.

Cash delivery instrument This refers to the tools that beneficiaries use to access the cash given to them, and can include bank checks/drafts, postal orders, direct cash, smart cards, mobile phones, etc.

E-transfers These include the use of digital means for transferring cash or vouchers from the implementing agency to beneficiaries. E-transfers include cash grants through mobile phone or SMART card (ATM card, pre-paid card) and access to goods and/or services through electronic vouchers.

Voucher A paper or token that can be exchanged for a set quantity or value of goods, either with a value attached (e.g. $15) or predetermined commodity or service (e.g. 5 kg maize; milling of 5kg of maize). Vouchers are redeemable with pre-arranged vendors or in ‘fairs’ created by the agency. Vendors are paid by the contracting agency when they present these vouchers or evidence of exchange between the trader and beneficiaries.

E-voucher A card or code that is electronically redeemed at a participating distribution point. E-vouchers can represent cash or commodity value and are redeemed using a range of electronic devices.

3.1 CBI Situation Analysis

3.2 Market Analysis

3.3 Gender Analysis

3.4 Partner Capacity Assessment

3.5 Assessment and Selection of Financial Service Providers

Once preliminary assessments and analyses (Section II above) are complete, CARE staff should adhere to the following process in designing cash transfer programs:

  1. Determine appropriateness of CVA;
  2. Choose CVA modality;
  3. Set grant amounts and delivery frequency;
  4. Choose payment mechanism.

4.1 Appropriateness of CBI

4.2 CBI Modality

4.3 Grant Amount Frequency

4.4 Payment

Once the details of program design are set, program implementation includes:

  1. Contracting payment agent;
  2. Targeting beneficiaries;
  3. Setting up beneficiary registration and identification systems;
  4. Distributing cash and vouchers;
  5. Coordinating with others.

5.1 Contract the Payment Agent

5.2 Target Beneficiaries

5.3 Set up beneficiary registration and identification system

5.4 Distribute cash and vouchers

5.5 Coordinate with others

6.1 Impact, outcome and process monitoring

6.2 Market monitoring

6.3 Feedback and complaint mechanism

  • Ensure Cash for Work is inclusive: When Cash for Work is selected, the type of work being offered to the beneficiaries should allow all groups to access the scheme (including elderly or people living with disability) or provision should be made for a percentage of unconditional grants for the households not able to work.
  • Ensure children headed household have access to assistance. This can especially be the case when banking instruments are considered. When ATM cards or bank accounts are used to deliver the payment, they are often only accessible to the person above 18. In this case alternatives should be found so that children headed household could still be assisted.

When Cash for Work is considered a minimum age should be set to be able to take part in the CfW scheme. This age limit will be context specific but the International Labour Organisation recommends 15 years as the minimum age for Cash for Work. For more information refer to: Save the Children, Child Safeguarding in Cash Transfer Programming.

  • Risk and opportunities of technology and e-transfer. When mobile phone is being considered to deliver the payment, it can increased accountability towards beneficiaries, for example, through an easier direct access to CARE team members. However access to technology can also represent a barrier for some beneficiaries who have a low technical literacy. When technology is being consider to deliver the payment, ensure the beneficiaries can access the transfer and get support to do so in case of need.
  • Engage both men and women in CBI targeting only women. This can be done through information and awareness raising and encourage their participation into design and implementation. Without taking into consideration gender roles and power relations, CBI could potentially increase intra household violence and add an additional burden on women in terms of workload and/or social pressure.
  • Communicate clearly with communities. CBI should accompanied by a robust communication with communities strategy, which should clearly outline the criteria for targeting, why women are the main beneficiaries (if this is the case), and what the expectations are associated with this targeting. CBI are unlikely to be successful when the community does not agree with criteria or processes for beneficiary selection.
  • Monitor women, children, elderly and people living with disabilities well-being. This is done to ensure the CBI is doing them no harm.