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CTP and Multi-sector programming

What do we want multi-sector programming to look like in 2020?

Whenever it is feasible and appropriate, people affected by crisis will receive a single multi-sector cash transfer. This cash transfer is sufficient in value, arrives on time, and is complemented where necessary with vouchers and in-kind assistance, technical support and additional programmes and resources.

By 2020 we would like to see single multi-sector cash transfers routinely considered, (combined with in-kind or voucher assistance when needed), that will best meet the needs of beneficiaries. This can fill gaps where needed and compliment other specialised interventions (such as shelter reconstruction).

Multi-Purpose Grants (or MPGs) are designed to offer people affected by crisis a maximum degree of flexibility, dignity and efficiency commensurate with their diverse needs. For these reasons, MPGs can also contribute to more successful sector-specific interventions, enabling crisis-affected persons to utilise in-kind goods and access services as they were intended in addition to receiving cash assistance for basic needs.

Credit: Photo taken in the Mangaize Refugee Camp during the field visit undertaken for the case study development by young refugees to document their daily life and how UNHCR intervention contributes to improving their living conditions

What is stopping us from achieving that?

The last few years have seen the emergence of an evidence-base in support of the use of multipurpose grants.

However, whilst MPGs can be a valuable component of a humanitarian response, their effectiveness is dependent on a robust multi-sectoral understanding of needs and vulnerabilities, supported by a coordination system with clear accountabilities for decision-making on modality choice. The success defined above is therefore reliant on overcoming a number of technical and strategic obstacles which include the following:

  • Tools and processes are currently designed to aid sector specific decision making
  • Situation and Response Analysis is not robust enough to inform objective decision-making
  • Socio-economic analysis is not widely understood
  • There is no consensus on multi-sector outcome level indicators (that should demonstrate the impact towards response objectives that may span broader health, wealth and wellbeing results as well as sectoral objectives)
  • Concerns in certain sectors regarding the type of expenditures included in multipurpose grants
  • Specific perceived limitations of unrestricted cash transfers for shelter
  • Coordination systems are not predictable enough to ensure accountability for decision-making on modalities
  • Funding is insufficient to meet multi-sector response needs
  • Limited capacity / investment in capacity exists amongst practitioners and decision makers to deliver  multi-sectoral responses

What is CaLP doing to address some of these issues?

To address the challenges above, CaLP and its partners propose to focus on building evidence and guidance on the following topics:

  1. Beneficiary Choice and Prioritisations
  2. Complementarity of socio-economic and protection-based targeting
  3. Applying and documenting use of multi-sector response analysis and multi-sector market analysis
  4. Guidance for measuring multi-sector outcomes (including the contribution of MPGs to these outcomes)
  5. The relationship between grant size and outcome
  6. Cost-efficiency and cost-effectiveness of multipurpose grants (including standardisation of guidance on cost-effectiveness)
  7. Sector-specific considerations for CTP, including adaptations of market analysis tools and CTP guidance to sector-specific needs (ref. Markets thematic area)
  8. Use of MPGs in prevention, response and recovery programming

CaLP will be focusing on a number of research and capacity building initiatives relating to multi-sector CTP in the coming months, and will be collaborating closely with the clusters to inform content and learning needs.

CaLP also recognises the value of, and actively supports the value of sector-specific cash transfers as a complement to multi-sectoral grants. Sub pages of this page contain key sector-specific resources.


Multisector Cash Transfer Programming is a coordinated approach to cash transfers whereby a range of sector needs would be addressed through CTP by one organization or a range of organizations working together, possibly using a one delivery mechanism, but otherwise managing their program in the traditional way (sectoral definition of targeting, sectoral calculation of cash amount, sectoral indicators for reporting etc.).