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Cash Atlas update - Evaluation of the Cash Atlas

Satisfaction and use

The overall level of members’ satisfaction is high. Users’ satisfaction is higher than editors’ satisfaction, illustrating how easy the tool is to use, something which is acknowledged by more than 80% of users. This also demonstrates the challenges related to data collection and data entry on the editors’ side. To quote a respondent, “it [the Cash Atlas] gives a snapshot of the [cash-based] interventions across the globe, and as such the platform could be used for partnerships, learning, capacity building, resource management, donor engagement, impact measurement, and profiling of interventions.” The main concern raised by users is the need for accurate, updated and comprehensive data.

Respondents value global and project-related information equally. This suggests that humanitarian professionals and donors at different levels make use of the Cash Atlas for different purposes.

Users and editors alike rank technical information at the top of their list in terms of usefulness, whereas financial information, information on humanitarian actors in the field and information on beneficiaries are all of similar importance. Broadly, the information available from the Cash Atlas has been used for advocacy, learning, exchange of information and coordination on CTP.

Data entry

The editors’ survey specifically addressed the data entry process. According to the survey, the responsibility for data entry lies with either  the organisations’ headquarters, the country offices, or both. In the latter cases, some data is entered at headquarter level and then refined/completed at country level. There does not appear to be a preference for either option.. However, Informal communications with key stakeholders emphasized that large organizations tend to involve both headquarter and country offices.

Two possibilities are currently offered to editors for data entry:

  • Through the built-in interface;
  • By filling an Excel spreadsheet for batch projects upload (available upon request).

The quantity of information requested for projects to be published was deemed appropriate by most respondents. However, organizations expressed some concerns about the difficulty of gathering certain types of data. Financial data and technical data appear to pose the greatest problems, followed by information on beneficiaries.

The future of the Cash Atlas

The final part of the survey is designed to capture the expectations of the community of practice with regard to future developments of the Cash Atlas.

Users and editors were first asked which features could be improved. Unsurprisingly, editors ranked the data entry process on top of their priorities, followed by the information displayed, and the filters. Users insisted on the need for a large quantity of data. A respondent explained: “Partners must be encouraged to share their project information. If they can't, then the CaLP coordination team must take its responsibilities and assist partners wherever needed.” Another respondent suggested that training could be provided to encourage agencies to share their data.

Respondents were also required to suggest features that could be added. A library referencing all project documents is a feature that both users and editors would prioritize. The possibility to use additional currencies beyond USD and EUR was praised by editors.

Respondents were asked to share their views on how the Cash Atlas could support the coordination of actors involved in the first phase of an emergency response. Several respondents mentioned the need to centralize data entry in order to ensure that timely and comprehensive data is provided. Other respondents emphasized the need for CaLP to review the Cash Atlas tool vis-à-vis other global coordination tools in emergencies, such as OCHA’s 4Ws map (‘Who is where, when, doing what’).

Finally, each of the three suggestions (see below) shared with respondents gathered around 80% of support:

  • To share the results of market assessments in the first phase of an emergency and display them on the map. The possibility to filter market assessments by type and location was noted.
  • To add a “thematic notification” module that would allow users and editors to receive news whenever a new project meeting specific criteria is added.
  • To capture and display Social Safety Nets.

Although not all those suggestions have been or will be carried forward, they are informing the data collection strategy as well as future developments.

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