Electronic cash transfers (e-transfers) often necessitate the transfer of personal data, some of which is sensitive, between humanitarian and private sector actors, such as financial service providers (FSPs). As use of e-transfers increases, having strong data management and protection practices in place is critical to ensure that our programs do not expose participants to unnecessary or unforeseen risks. While many industries are governed by clear data protection standards, this is not yet the case for the humanitarian sector. Very few humanitarian organizations have a comprehensive set of policies, practices, and tools to responsibly manage and protect the data they hold. Yet, we have a responsibility to utilize, share, store, and dispose of data securely.
The Electronic Cash Transfer Learning and Action Network (ELAN) launched a new Data Starter Kit designed to help humanitarians plan and improve data management practices. Building upon the CaLP’s Protecting Beneficiary Privacy, the Starter Kit comprises seven tip sheets (three to six pages each) and a glossary that align with the project and data management lifecycles, and provide concrete tips to help humanitarians assess data risks, minimize data collected, and protect and securely share data. While the ELAN developed this Starter Kit for field staff implementing e-transfer programs, many of the concepts are not cash or e-transfer specific and may be useful to other types of programs.
The Data Starter Kit includes tip sheets that offer practical guidance and additional resources for those who want to dig deeper. They are organized into three sections -- 1) a definition of the topic, 2) what humanitarians should know, and 3) what humanitarians should do -- on the following key data protection topics:
Since the Data Starter Kit is a new resource, we would like to hear how you are using it. We are also interested in testing it more systematically in the field; if this interests you, please let us know. We welcome any comments on the content of the Tip Sheets. With any comments or questions, please contact Lily Frey.
The Electronic Cash Transfer Learning Action Network (ELAN) aims to improve how electronic cash and electronic vouchers are used to assist survivors of natural disasters and conflict. It brings humanitarian organizations and the private sector together in partnership to improve e-transfer programs. The ELAN offers information, technical support and resources to guide private sector and humanitarian staff working directly with disaster affected people and communities. The ELAN is convened by Mercy Corps and supported by the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth. Sign up to receive updates from the ELAN.
The Cash Learning Partnership , eighteen global private-sector and humanitarian organizations signed principles to guide public-private collaboration on digital delivery of humanitarian aid. Read the full report here!
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