World + 4 more

Good Practice Review on Cash Assistance in Contexts of High Inflation and Depreciation



a. Background and rationale

This document presents good practice to assist humanitarian actors designing and implementing cash programmes, including multipurpose cash (MPC) and cash for sectoral outcomes. The rationale for this document is the growing challenge of inflation and currency depreciation in contexts in which humanitarian cash assistance is being implemented and/or could be implemented. The need to document existing practice has been underscored by COVID-19, which has exacerbated economic volatility in many humanitarian contexts, and increased humanitarian needs. This is an area of ongoing learning; hence this is a collation of good practices to date, and the document is intended to be updated on a regular basis.

The document has been drafted collaboratively by the Donor Cash Forum (DCF), given donors’ role in ensuring the optimal use of funds to meet humanitarian outcomes, and in driving coherence and Value for Money (VFM) among humanitarian actors. It is aligned with the intent of the Joint Donor Statement on Humanitarian Cash Transfers to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of cash assistance – but is not donor guidance per se.

The content was sourced through a consultative process coordinated through the CaLP network. The consultation process involved dedicated CWG meetings and written feedback. Inputs were gratefully received from donors, Cash Working Groups and the global Food Security Cluster, individual agencies, and individual consultants (see Acknowledgements for further detail). This consultation was complemented by a review of existing literature on the topic, which has been referenced throughout the document.

b. Overview of the document, including audience

The document starts with an overview of key concepts, presented in an accessible way for humanitarian actors. The guidance part of the document is intended to mirror the response analysis process and is structured as follows: Situation Analysis, Response Analysis, and Response Options. It contains the type of information and analysis required to make programming decisions in these contexts. It is not intended to provide tailored solutions, but rather to help guide and document decision-making.

Examples from different contexts have been integrated as text boxes throughout the text. These are intended to illustrate concepts and demonstrate how steps and options have been carried out in practice. In addition, in-depth case studies of Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Lebanon and Yemen have been developed alongside the review. These illustrate the type of analysis and the decision-making processes carried out in these countries. Lessons learned from these case studies have also been integrated as text boxes throughout the text.

The document is relevant for different humanitarian audiences, namely coordination bodies, in particular Cash Working Groups (CWGs), individual agencies and donors. The implications of different steps and options for these different audiences are outlined. The document is also relevant to contexts ‘only’ affected by inflation.