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We need your help to prepare for the future of financial assistance

Tegan Rogers, CaLP Communications Manager

How will humanitarian response look 10 years from now? Will mass migration and protracted crises continue to drive humanitarian need? Will affected populations gain more control over the assistance they access? Will rising nationalism and the increasing politicization of aid mean that international NGOs will play a smaller role? Will companies, foundations, megacities and citizens’ movements become the new major players within humanitarian response?

These scenarios, taken from IARAN’s report, The Future of Aid, INGOs in 2030, are just some of the possible directions forseen by humanitarian actors working to adapt and prepare for the future.

Cash assistance has long been regarded as a disruptor in the humanitarian sector. Cash and voucher assistance challenges our ways of working, throwing into question traditional sector- and mandate-based models. With its links to other reforms in humanitarian assistance, including the push for localisation, participatory approaches, social protection and market based support, cash is being increasingly regarded as a catalyst for positive transformation.

As a network of more than 80 organisations delivering cash, representing a significant cross section of the humanitarian sector, CaLP and its members have an important role to play in helping to understand what this change might look like, and how we can take advantage of opportunities to deliver financial assistance differently, to better meet current and future needs.

That’s why we are launching a collaborative process to envision the future of financial assistance to meet humanitarian needs, with a 2030 horizon. This process aims to support humanitarian actors involved in cash assistance to collectively understand how they will most effectively capitalise on the instruments and technologies which support financial assistance, to best meet humanitarian needs. The outcomes from this project will provide a vital basis for strategic planning in cash assistance at intra- and inter-organisational level. It can also be a basis for exploring the potential of cash assistance as a vehicle for system change.

We have intentionally used the term financial assistance in recognition that there is a broad set of instruments  - remittances, social protection payments, peer-to-peer giving and lending - which can support individuals to meet their humanitarian needs through improving their access to markets and services. Therefore, to best meet humanitarian needs in future, the interaction and complementarity between these instruments must be analysed collectively. This term is used to broadly encompass any assistance received by an individual or household to help them alleviate humanitarian needs. This assistance may be provided through a range of mechanisms, including institutions (state or non-state) or directly from other individuals.

To kickstart this process, we are seeking insights from as wide a range of actors as possible, to ask what the most important factors, channels, tools and instruments will be in shaping the future of financial assistance. Your insights are welcome – please complete the survey here and share with your networks.

You can also track progress on the dedicated webpage as the project takes shape and insights begin to emerge. Visit: http://www.cashlearning.org/what-we-do/the-future-of-financial-assistance

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