Home - Thematic areas - Sector-specific Cash and Voucher Assistance

Sector-specific Cash and Voucher Assistance

As part of a sector-specific intervention, such as helping people affected by crises to access healthcare, or rebuild their livelihoods, cash transfers may be provided as part of a package. But each sector requires different skills and considerations to ensure cash transfers are used and monitored effectively.

Why is this theme important?

Cash transfers may be given to people in crises so that they can address their needs within a specific humanitarian sector, such as water, food, health, shelter, livelihood, or protection. Sector-specific Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) can be restricted or unrestricted, and conditional or unconditional, and will typically be provided as part of a comprehensive package which may also include in-kind and service-based assistance.

But using cash to contribute to rebuild shelters after an earthquake requires a different set of skills and considerations than using cash to support access to education. Similarly, using cash to support pregnant women demands a different approach than using cash to support victims of gender-based violence.

Each sector has to consider different questions, challenges, advantages and risks when it comes to supporting people’s recovery within their area of expertise. This requires evidence, tools, guidance and capacity. Meeting sector-specific outcomes through CVA also requires a multi-sectoral understanding of needs and of household economic security - see Multipurpose Cash Assistance. While some sectors are very experienced in implementing CVA and have done so for many years, others are lagging behind.

What should progress look like in this area?

High quality sector-specific CVA requires progress across all of the six Global Objectives of the Global Framework for Action. Specifically:

  • Humanitarian practitioners in each sector routinely consider cash alongside other modalities
  • All humanitarian sectors have the means to build sufficient capacity for CVA within their sector
  • A sector-specific evidence base for CVA has been built for each sector, across different types of interventions
  • CVA is coordinated within each sector, as well as across sectors, and sufficient funding is available for sectoral CVA
  • Sector-specific CVA and its outcomes can be tracked, monitored and evaluated, as part of holistic outcome monitoring

Ongoing initiatives and news

Most humanitarian sectors have been increasing their efforts on sector-specific CVA, including some global clusters such as WASH, Health, Shelter, Education. The Global Cluster Coordination Group (GCCG) is also coordinating cross-cluster work to improve the sectoral used of CVA.


Webinars on Cash and Nutrition by the Global Cluster for Nutrition, organized by Andre Dürr

In English, Tuesday 26 November from 2-3pm CET, Join Skype Meeting      

In French, Thursday 28 November from 2-3pm CET, Join Skype Meeting      

The objectives of the webinars is to:

  • The enhance understanding of the role and objectives of CVA in a nutrition response
  • To present evidence and current practice on CVA in nutrition
  • To highlight opportunities and risks regarding the use of CVA for nutrition outcomes
  • To share the next steps of the GNC’s engagement on the topic
  • To discuss the role of NCCs in CVA discussions at national level
  • To discuss current challenges of partners to integrate CVA in their nutrition response



Learn more

Evidence & Other Resources  

For resources on Protection, Child Protection and Gender-based Violence visit the Protection sub page

For resources on CCCM – Camp Coordination and Camp Management visit the CCMM sub page

For resources on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) visit the WASH and Cash Transfer Programming sub page

For resources on WASH & Shelter visit the Shelter and cash and voucher assistance sub page


Impacts of Cash on Nutrition Outcomes (R4Act, 2018)


Cash and Voucher Assistance and Health (ACF, 2019)

Research agenda-setting on cash programming for health and nutrition in humanitarian settings (Woodward, 2017)

Cash-based Interventions for Health programmes in Refugee Settings – A Review (UNHCR, 2016)


Cash and Voucher Assistance for Education in Emergencies. Synthesis Report and Guidelines (2019)

Cash Transfer Programming in the Education and Child Protection Sectors: Literature review and Evidence maps (2019)

Child Outcomes of Cash Transfer Programming: Research Brief (Save the Children, 2018) 

Cash for Education: A global review of UNHCR programmes in refugee settings (UNHCR, 2017) 

Food Security

Cash Transfer Briefing Package for Food Security Cluster Coordinators (FSC, 2017)

Cash Transfers for Food Security in Epidemics (November 2017) 

Early Recovery

Cash Based Interventions in Early Recovery Settings Guidance Note (Final Draft) (GCER, October 2015) 


Guidance Notes: Cash Transfers in Livelihoods Programming- West Africa (CaLP, 2016) 

Guidelines on Cash Transfers and Livelihoods - Latin America (CaLP, 2016)