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Improving user journeys for humanitarian cash transfers

Research reports

Written by Sara Pavanello

Humanitarian agencies are increasingly using digital payments – including mobile money, pre-paid and smartcards, bank cards and electronic vouchers – to deliver cash assistance to affected populations. As such, the analysis and use of payment technologies have become more important, as have partnerships with financial service providers. 

Joint efforts among humanitarian agencies, donors and private sector actors to develop a common vision around what can be achieved through digital payment systems and to strengthen partnerships and cooperation.

But while these initiatives include some user-level considerations such as the need to understand cash recipients’ needs and preferences around payment mechanisms, potential safety risks and opportunities for boosting financial inclusion, the experiences and preferences of cash recipients around delivery mechanisms remain poorly understood.

The purpose of this research project, commissioned by DFID and implemented by Ground Truth Solutions in collaboration with the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) and Oxfam is to start addressing this gap and to improve evidence on how transfer systems satisfy people’s needs and expectations through case studies in Iraq and Kenya.

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