The latest good practice tips and guidance for cash assistance in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
The Movement is continually learning from field practice to develop guidance that can help improve future practice in cash assistance. Explore this section to access learning from the Movement on how to assess, design, implement, monitor and evaluate cash programmes.
These guidelines cover all aspects of the programme cycle, from assessment, design, implementation, to monitoring and evaluation and are designed for field practitioners. These guidelines will be useful both to decide if cash is relevant and feasible as well as to provide practical, step-by-step guidance on how to design and implement a cash programme. These guidelines should be read along with the Roadmaps from the Cash in Emergencies Toolkit as well as other relevant programming guidance.
The Movement recognises that to be able to deliver cash assistance predictably, investments must be made to develop cash readiness at an organisational level. This guidance provides a step-by-step process for a National Society to work through and outlines a menu of activities through a ‘4 tracks’ approach to become cash proficient. This guidance should be read along with the Roadmaps and Tools in the Preparedness section of the Cash in Emergencies Toolkit.
The RAM is an instrument allowing humanitarian practitioners with limited market expertise and time to develop a rapid and basic first understanding of key markets in the immediate aftermath of a shock. The RAM strengthens response analysis by providing market data, essential for informed decision-making on appropriate transfer mechanisms (i.e. in-kind or cash-based) if relief is to be provided. The tools used in the RAM, such as market mapping tools, can also reveal possibilities for market-support interventions and identify entry points to support market recovery.
This guidance complements the RAM and suggests processes and tools aimed at integrating market analysis into the different phases of the project cycle. The MAG is targeted at staff and external consultants who have a role in leading market analysis, as well as managers who need to make programming decisions and to implement market-related relief and early recovery interventions. It offers a simple approach to the processes of gathering and analysing market data and making decisions based on such information. Whilst it is therefore relevant for all humanitarian programming it is of particular interest for cash assistance.
Advocacy is particularly important around cash transfer programming (CTP) as there remain barriers to CTP due to perceptions and concerns about reputational risk, misuse of cash, corruption and the need for complex monitoring/financial control systems. Moving from more traditional in-kind based responses to cash assistance can also require a shift in thinking and practice. Ongoing advocacy efforts can help to ensure National Societies routinely consider cash transfer programming as a response option, alongside other forms of response, based on the context, situation, needs and capacities. This guidance provides generic materials that can be adapted to a specific context, to run awareness sessions for senior representatives of a National Society on the nature of cash transfer programming, its challenges and benefits.
These SoPs provide a structured overview of how cash assistance is administered through the IFRC and includes the roles, responsibilities, procedures and pre-requisites for the various functions involved.
The aim of these SOPs is to support and facilitate the set up and implementation of cash transfer and voucher programming within the ICRC by specifying the respective roles and responsibilities, defining the processes involved and minimum documentation required as well as providing key reference materials.
Key mitigating controls for prevention and detection of fraud: Cash Transfer Programming (CTP) Case study
Despite this growing acceptance of CTP as a response option, concerns about misuse and fraud remain an obstacle for many National Societies in adopting cash responses. This concern revolves around the risk of diversion of funds due to its greater appeal and discretion compared to its in-kind equivalent. As routine consideration of appropriate CTP becomes increasingly expected by all stakeholders and CTP is identified as a preferred form of support by the affected population, risks of fraud does not necessarily mean that CTP should not be implemented, rather they need to be identified and appropriately managed. This anonymized case study walks through the process of how the IFRC and National Society dealt with fraud in a large, long-term CTP project that resulted in the continuation of the programme and so provides guidance and learning for any National Society to further mitigate similar risks in other programmes.
Additional Cash Assistance Guidance on Response Analysis
MEB Example Lebanon – an example of a Minimum Expenditures Basket from Lebanon, which includes the Minimum Food Basket required to meet 2100KCAL/ day and nutrients needed, the minimum NFI required per month, average rent, normal water supply required per month.