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How cash transfers can transform humanitarian aid

Time (GMT +01) 14:00 15:30


Video message from David Miliband – President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee

Owen Barder – Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development and chair of the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Cash Transfers

Degan Ali – Executive Director of Adeso

Michael Faye – Co-founder and Executive Chairman of GiveDirectly and CEO and co-founder of Segovia Technology, member of the High Level Panel

Claus Sørensen – Senior Advisor on Resilience, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC), member of the High Level Panel

Rachel Slater – Research Fellow, Social Protection, ODI


Rajesh Mirchandani – Senior Director of Communications and Policy Outreach at the Center for Global Development


The humanitarian aid system is under severe strain. New approaches are needed to protect the lives and dignity of those affected and to ensure aid is spent as effectively as possible.  

Evidence shows that unconditional cash transfers can be more efficient, more transparent, more accountable and better for recipients than in kind aid. Moving to a coordinated system of cash transfers is also an opportunity for broader reform of the humanitarian system. But cash and vouchers remain just 6% of all humanitarian aid.

Why is it taking so long to move towards a more cash-based system? What are the barriers to scaling up the use of cash transfers and how can these be overcome? What role can the private sector play?

With short talks by leading thinkers and experts, this event will seek to chart out a path for scaling up humanitarian cash transfers in the future. It launches a new ODI report by a high level panel of experts, commissioned by the UK’s Department for International Development.

Want more on cash? Take part in our Twitter Chat on cash transfers on 14 Sept.