Cash-based approaches in humanitarian emergencies

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Cash transfer and voucher programs, if appropriately designed and managed, can be effective and efficient modalities for addressing the needs of crisis-affected populations in a range of contexts. Robust evidence on the effects and efficiency of cash-based interventions are strongest for food security.

The objectives of this review were to assess and synthesize existing evidence on the effectiveness and efficiency of cash-based approaches in humanitarian emergencies, and to identify factors that hinder and facilitate program implementation. More rigorous evaluations comparing the effectiveness of different approaches and transfer modalities, as well as standardized methods for documenting and comparing both costs and benefits of these programs, are needed to draw generalizable conclusions for humanitarian policy in other sectors.

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