We Accept Cash: Mapping Study on the Use of Cash Transfers in Humanitarian, Recovery and Transitional Response
Cash‐based approaches to the delivery of assistance in humanitarian and recovery situations involve replacing or complementing traditional forms of in‐kind assistance with cash‐based mechanisms; non‐conditional cash grants and conditional cash grants or vouchers fixed to an exchange for specific goods or services. Cash is usually the most important means of economic exchange, even in humanitarian and recovery situations. Using cash‐based instruments, therefore, allows beneficiaries to purchase goods and services in local markets. Cash‐based approaches are not new. There are documented examples dating back hundreds of years. However, cash is gaining greater acceptance as: i) our understanding of the factors driving humanitarian crisis matures, and; ii) good practice for aid effectiveness places greater emphasis on ownership and strengthening national capacity. Still, the use of cash is a departure from traditional forms of in‐kind assistance (food and non‐food items), which continue to dominate humanitarian response.