Programme guidance

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.

Guidelines for Cash Transfer Programming

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. 

Guidance for Mainstreaming Cash and Voucher Assistance: Cash Preparedness for Effective Response

>Download Chapter 1: CVAP Areas

This guidance is intended for NSs at the country level, but can also be used by other components of the Movement. The document includes suggestions on what actions or domains are required under each of the five key CVAP Areas. A separate chapter has been written with adaptations for ICRC delegations investing in CVAP (see “Chapter 2 – ICRC CVAP Guidance”).

>Download Chapter 2: ICRC CVA Preparedness Guidance

This ICRC-specific guidance follows the same structure as the CVAP guidance for NSs, with each section providing an overview of one of the five key Areas of CVAP, adapted for use at ICRC delegation level.

Rapid Assessment for Markets (RAM): Guidelines

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. 

Market Analysis Guidance (MAG)

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. 

Cash Transfer Programming: Engaging National Society Leadership

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. 

IFRC – Cash Transfer Programming (CTP) Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

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. 

ICRC – Cash Transfer Programming (CTP) Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

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.

Practical Guidance for Data Protection in Cash and Voucher Assistance – A supplement to the Cash in Emergencies Toolkit

As cash assistance is scaled up there is an increase in the collection and processing of personal data belonging to the vulnerable communities being served. In times of crisis, personal data provided to aid organisations must be managed according the best standards and practices for data protection.
This practical guidance is intended for cash practitioners and for those managing programmes, to support them embedding data protection principles when distributing cash assistance.