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Improving user journeys for humanitarian cash transfers: Iraq case study

Research reports

Written by Sara Pavanello

Research reports

As cash transfer programmes increasingly become a standard component of humanitarian responses, aid agencies and donors are seeking to understand delivery mechanisms that are effective, efficient and offer good value for money, while meeting the preferences of affected people.

The project looks at how recipients of humanitarian cash transfers – including forcibly displaced people – experience cash assistance in different forms and combinations, particularly where these make use of digital delivery mechanisms. The main objective is to understand how delivery mechanisms can be designed to best respond to people’s needs and expectations.

Funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), in collaboration with experts from Ground Truth Solutions and Oxfam, this report combines quantitative perception surveys with qualitative analyses of individual user journeys in Iraq.

In Iraq, international actors and the state government are using cash transfers delivered through a range of mechanisms such as smartcards, money transfer agents and mobile money transfers. In 2018, 25% of humanitarian programming across all sectors channelled through the Humanitarian Response Plan was expected to be delivered in the form of cash. At the same time, Iraq remains one of the most under-banked countries in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The case study includes opinions from recipients who have experienced the four delivery mechanisms most commonly used by the international community: direct cash, mobile money transfers, Qi card and e-vouchers.

Elias Sagmeister, Maximilian Seilern, Ledia Andrawes, Paul Harvey, Anna Kondakhchyan and Sara Pavanello