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Monitoring & Evaluation for Cash and Voucher Assistance

The flexible and multisectoral nature of cash presents unique challenges when it comes to monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of humanitarian responses. We need to find common indicators to ensure we are working together to improve the quality of cash and voucher assistance.

Why is this theme important?

We must be able to effectively monitor and evaluate humanitarian responses to ensure quality. Most M&E challenges, such as a lack of sufficient investment and capacities are not specific to Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA). But those that are specific to cash relate primarily to monitoring outcomes for unrestricted transfers. The flexibility and multisectoral nature of cash transfers makes it difficult to determine appropriate outcome indicators, as they may involve a combination of sector-specific and cross-sectoral indicators. At the same time, there are limitations on gathering accurate data on how cash transfers are spent.

Grand Bargain (GB) signatories have committed to ensuring relevant M&E mechanisms are in place for cash, and increasing understanding of the costs, benefits, impacts and risks of cash relative to other modalities. Building on this, the GB cash workstream has action points including the development of common outcome indicators for multipurpose cash, and metrics for analysing value for money. Systematic value for money analysis has been limited by factors including a lack of agreed upon approaches, the need for quality outcome data, and the intensive nature of the analysis.

What should progress look like in this area?

The State of the World’s Cash Report notes that effective monitoring of outcomes for cash and vouchers requires the identification and use of common indicators and processes across agencies.

In addition, achieving the following would indicate good progress on improving the monitoring and analysis of cash and vouchers:

  • Cash and vouchers are mainstreamed in M&E systems, guidance and standards within and across sectors
  • Monitoring of CVA is integrated with monitoring of complementary programming activities
  • Donors and agencies consistently invest in M&E capacity
  • Humanitarian coordination systems support the collection and analysis of relevant M&E data, which contributes to ongoing response analysis
  • All modalities of aid delivery are subject to relevant program quality and evidence standards for M&E and accountability
  • Agencies use mobile and data management technology to improve data collection and analysis
  • A set of common denominator outcome indicators for use across modalities is identified and used to enable value for money analysis


‘What would you do with 175 dollars’ (Lebanon Cash Consortium): A video on the importance of analysing how assistance is used in context.

Ongoing initiatives and news

Cash Barometer

In 2017/18 Ground Truth Solutions has run pilots for the Cash Barometer in Afghanistan, Turkey and Kenya. The goal of this initiative is to understand what people affected by crisis think about the relevance and effectiveness of cash-based humanitarian aid. It combines standardized face-to-face surveys with qualitative data collection to capture the perceptions of aid beneficiaries.

Outcome Indicators for Multipurpose Cash

  • As part of the Grand Bargain cash commitments, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been leading a group to support the goal of helping to coalesce and advance multipurpose cash outcome measurement.  The work began last year with mapping existing MPC outcome indicators and their use, which brought a wide variety of responses from across humanitarian stakeholders. A working group was then formed, with experts from NGOs, UN agencies, CaLP and donors, as well as substantial input from relevant clusters and from multipurpose cash programming to date, to refine and organize these indicators. A Consultation Draft of the indicators is now available for review. Feedback on this is being collected until March 31st 2019, which can be submitted through Google forms here.
  • Work on improving the monitoring of multipurpose cash has also been undertaken through the ECHO ERC Consortium for ‘Increasing the Uptake of Multi-Purpose Cash Grants in Emergency Responses’. Tools for monitoring MPGs were developed and tested through pilots in Ethiopia and Nigeria.


Learn more

Training Courses & Materials

Practical Scenario: Monitoring and Adapting Cash Transfer Programming (available in English)
An e-learning course designed for practitioners with some experience of CTP to apply their skills in a fictional emergency context.

Monitoring 4 CTP
A 1-day face to face training course

Core Cash Transfer Programming Skills for Programme Staff 
A 5-day face to face course which includes a module on monitoring cash and voucher programmes

Disaster Ready provides a self-paced e-learning course on Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) systems. Use the link and register with the platform to access the course.

Please log in to Kaya to access these courses.

Evidence & Other Resources  

Value for Money

How to: Tools & Guidelines

News & discussion

'Frivolous Expenditure' - CaLP D-Group discussion on 'intended' and 'unintended' use of cash, including how this data is captured and analyzed

D-groups Sign up to CaLP's discussion groups Click here