Cash transfer programmes have become a standard component of humanitarian responses. This research explores how to optimise them from a user perspective, based on a better understanding of recipients’ preferences, expectations, and satisfaction levels at various points of interaction with individual cash programmes and delivery mechanisms. This report is based on evidence collected in Kenya and Iraq. Please refer to the separate country case studies for more information: cashjourneys.net
The breakdown of a 17-year ceasefire in Kachin State, Myanmar, in June 2011 led to the displacement of well over 100,000 civilians and the collapse of trust between large sections of the civilian community and the Myanmar government and Army. In the absence of an adequate national response, and with the government blocking international humanitarian access to vulnerable communities, Kachin civil society groups have taken the lead in assisting and protecting their own people.
As cash transfer programmes increasingly become a standard component of humanitarian responses, aid agencies and donors seek a more comprehensive understanding of delivery mechanisms that are effective, efficient and offer good value for money, while meeting the preferences of affected people. This research project looks at how recipients of humanitarian cash transfers – including forcibly displaced people – experience cash assistance in different forms and combinations, particularly where these make use of digital delivery mechanisms.
• Pro-poor policies, such as cash transfers, hold wide appeal for politicians in times of economic crises because of the visibility and high level of international support available for such measures.
• The political returns to politicians from a widespread pro-poor policy are significant: they potentially expand their voter base.
• The highly visible link between the politician and cash transfers has mobilised politicians to invest in state capacity and reach eligible citizens.
Caitlin Wake and John Bryant