Cash Learning Partnership

'Cash for Work' programme at Tapis Rouge camp, in Port au Prince. (Haiti, 2010)

At a glance

The CaLP aims to make cash transfer and voucher programming a viable and accountable programme mechanism for humanitarian preparedness and responses.


In many disasters, although physical markets may be destroyed, market systems continue to function. In such circumstances, cash and vouchers can be used as an effective tool to:

  • Deliver timely and cost-effective assistance to disaster affected populations

  • Deliver aid in a way that empowers vulnerable people, supports local markets and helps to stimulate the economy

  • Effectively support disaster-prone communities and thus reduce the impact of future crises

Despite widespread recognition that cash transfer programming can be an appropriate tool to support populations affected by crisis, this type of programming remains an emerging area for many humanitarian actors.

Vision and aims

The vision of the Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP) is that by the end of 2013, cash transfer and voucher programming will be a viable and accountable programme mechanism used by all technical sectors engaged in humanitarian preparedness and response work.

Based on its vision, the Partnership aims to:

  • Build practitioner capacity to improve the scope and quality of cash and voucher transfer programmes through increased knowledge, skills and confidence.
  • Ensure the evolution of accountable, relevant and innovative cash and voucher transfer programming through evidence based research in order to influence key stakeholders.
  • Provide the cooperation platform for sharing knowledge and experience at field and policy levels.

Our approach

  1. Building skills
    The Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP) has already organised 13 training courses around the world and by the end of 2011 over 35 courses will have been delivered, reaching more than 1,000 humanitarian stakeholders.

  2. Coordination and knowledge-sharing
    The CaLP website and online discussion forum are currently the only platforms devoted to the use of cash and vouchers in humanitarian emergencies.  

  3. Research
    In 2010, the CaLP published major Delivering Money: Cash Transfer Mechanisms in Emergencies, as well as a study on the impact of cash transfers on unstructured markets.

    The CaLP also embarked on an ambitious research project  with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI)'s Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN) to document best practices in cash and voucher transfer programming.

    The resulting Good Practice Review 11: Cash Transfer Programming in Emergencies is now available to read online.

The CaLP is working to achieve these aims in partnership with the IFRC (International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies), with support from ECHO (European Commission Humanitarian Office) and Visa.

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