The effectiveness and efficiency of cash-based approaches in emergencies

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Cash transfer and in-kind food assistance, have different advantages and disadvantages but can be effective means of increasing household food security among conflict-affected populations and maintaining household food security among food insecure and drought-affected populations. However, the review found no definitive conclusions on the effectiveness of either cash transfer or voucher programmes applicable to humanitarian policy.

Despite the widespread use and increasing number of evaluations of cash-base humanitarian assistance, there is not much rigorous evidence outside of the food security and nutrition sectors about how best to address the needs of crisis-affected populations. This is not surprising, as the studies which are of good enough quality for systematically reviewing, are rarely done in emergency settings. The primary objective of this review was to assess and synthesize existing evidence on the effects of cash-based approaches on individual and household outcomes in humanitarian emergencies. The secondary objective was to assess the efficiency of different cash-based approaches and identify factors that hinder and facilitate programme implementation.

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