Feasibility study partner CARE Australia commissioned a qualitative gender-sensitive analysis to inform the overall development of the Solomon Islands Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) Feasibility Study. The gender analysis was conducted with the support of Oxfam, Save the Children, World Food Programme, CARE Australia, Live and Learn and World Vision with funding support from DFAT through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP) Disaster Ready Program. The study’s gender analysis is the first evidence produced in the Pacific region that examines the effect of CVA on women’s well-being and empowerment, aligned with the “Agenda for Collective Action” that was agreed following the Cash and Learning Partnership (CaLP) symposium on “Gender and Cash and voucher assistance” in Nairobi, Kenya in February 2018.
There is a growing body of research on the effects of cash and voucher assistance on protection and women’s empowerment outcomes in relation to development programming; however, less so in humanitarian settings and particularly relating to short-term CVA. Cash and voucher assistance is considered to be one of the most significant recent developments in humanitarian assistance, in addition to being poorly understood in some regions, including the Pacific. As a result, it is likely that many interventions fail to capitalize on opportunities to foster positive gender impacts or possibly lead to negative externalities, including gender-based violence affecting women and girls. For these reasons, the rise in CVA in humanitarian programming must be accompanied by an equal interest in ensuring CVA does not cause harm to women and girls or lead to a deterioration of gender relations in the home. It is important to undertake a gender analysis to understand context-specific gender norms and the implications of CVA on men, women, boys, girls, and other vulnerable groups in order to inform effective and high-quality programming.