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Cash and Voucher Assistance in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic - Lessons Learned from a CARE Multi-Country Program, June 2021

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Evaluation and Lessons Learned
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In April 2020, CARE received a five million dollar grant from MARS to implement a multi-country program, including Cote d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Peru, Thailand, and Venezuela1 , with the aim of reducing the negative impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations, especially women and girls, using complementary and multimodal approaches. A key activity of this program was the provision of cash and voucher assistance (CVA) to vulnerable populations to meet their diverse basic needs. Program data indicated that CVA was implemented in Cote d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and Thailand. Monitoring data from different countries showed that CVA was unconditional; with cash modality representing 95% of transfers. Key targets populations for CVA activities vary by country and include: vulnerable households (Cote d’Ivoire, and Haiti); migrants and refugees (Honduras, Ecuador, and Thailand); domestic workers (Guatemala and Ecuador); survivors of GBV and other forms of violence against women (Guatemala and Ecuador); and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer/questioning (LGBTQI+) individuals (Ecuador). Across all projects (or countries), participants reported numerous uses of CVA including purchase foods stuff, payment of health services, hygiene services, rental/housing, savings and livelihoods activities.

Given the nature and scale of this program as well as its organizational commitment to learning, CARE was keen to understand the extent to which the project supported and protected vulnerable populations against the loss or disruption of their livelihoods in a gender sensitive manner. The study seeks to provide open-source learnings for peer companies and agencies on how CVA was utilized in this program with two major questions: (i) How gender sensitive was the process for CARE’s CVA? (ii) How gender sensitive was the intended outcome of CARE’s CVA?
This documentation report compiles lessons from across the projects implemented in the targeted countries and draws from the diversity of their experiences to provide some recommendations on more gender sensitive CVA in the future.