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Review of coordination for cash transfer programmes,
for the CaLP, February – March 2012

Cash transfer programmes (cash-for-work, direct cash transfer, coupons) were an important part of the humanitarian response to the January 2012 earthquake, implemented on a large scale to cover the immediate needs of the disaster victims. Inter-agency coordination, initiated by members of the CaLP, was very rapidly organized in parallel, in order to share experiences and good practices.
Two years after the earthquake, Groupe URD has been chosen by the CaLP to carry out a review of this coordination mechanism and its interaction with the other coordination systems in order to learn lessons for future emergencies. The project will also aim to support the CaLP’s advocacy work to improve organisations’ understanding, preparation and coordination of cash transfer programmes.

Following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, humanitarian agencies rapidly put in place a large-scale humanitarian response. Preliminary evaluations of the markets, and Emergency Market Mapping and Analysis (EMMA) showed that, though the markets had been badly affected by the earthquake, they had the potential to respond to the needs of the communities affected by the disaster. As a consequence, humanitarian agencies implemented Cash Transfer Programmes (CTPs) to respond to the immediate needs of victims, in a variety of forms (initially, Cash-for-work programmes, but also food voucher and direct cash transfer programmes) and using a variety of mechanisms for providing the money. Due to the scale of the disaster, it was soon clear that these cash transfer programmes needed to be coordinated.

The Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP) was a catalyst in launching this discussion between humanitarian organizations in Haiti. With funding and human resources provided by several organizations, a coordination mechanism for cash-based programmes in Haiti was set up in early 2010. More than two years after the disaster, this coordination mechanism still exists. It has made it possible to: develop a database of information on CTPs implemented by agencies; build the capacity of staff working on CTPs; pool and share good practices within the coordination group; establish links with the United Nations clusters in order to ensure better coordination; and, facilitate discussion and debate about CTPs in the country.


The CaLP has chosen Groupe URD to carry out a study in order to:

  • Review and document the inter-agency coordination mechanism for cash transfer programmes in Haiti;
  • Learn lessons to improve coordination of these programmes in future emergencies;
  • Support the development of the CaLP’s advocacy strategy.