With over 235 million people worldwide in need of humanitarian assistance and protection, cash and voucher assistance (CVA) is increasingly becoming the modality of choice in many crisis situations. For many humanitarian organisations, this shift from in-kind aid (food & other physical goods) to CVA is coupled with a desire to digitise these payments, in a bid to increase speed, efficiency, accountability and transparency for aid implementers, whilst also importantly increasing speed, convenience and discretion for aid recipients.
The ubiquity and scale of mobile networks – with 67 per cent of the global population now using a mobile phone (5.2 billion people) – has made mobile technology, specifically mobile money, an attractive digital delivery channel for CVA.
Digitisation of CVA accelerated by COVID-19
Over the past decade there has been a steady upward trajectory in the use of mobile money for CVA delivery, but the impact of COVID-19 has caused a significant uptick in its use more recently. This rapid increase means it is more important than ever that implementers understand the basic requirements for its successful deployment. This includes recognising that mobile money should only be used for CVA in appropriate contexts, where the infrastructure required for mobile money to be effective is in place or can be developed, and its use does not introduce or exacerbate existing inequalities.
Two free training courses launch today
Today we launch two online training courses, hosted on Digital Frontiers Institute’s platform, aimed at ensuring these foundational blocks are in place. The courses are intended to build mobile money providers’ (MMPs) and humanitarian practitioners’ understanding of the key considerations for successfully operationalising mobile money enabled CVA.
Access the courses:
Both courses are based on two handbooks developed by the GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation programme outlining the steps needed to operationalise mobile money enabled cash aid delivery:
Each course provides a comprehensive overview of the key considerations required when operationalising mobile money enabled CVA from each stakeholder’s perspective. While focused mostly on mobile money enabled CVA in humanitarian contexts, the information in both courses is also applicable more broadly to longer-term development assistance and social protection payments. By the end of the courses, participants will understand how mobile money enabled CVA works in practice, and what is needed to ensure effective operations work to the benefit of recipients, MMPs and aid implementers.
Learning the basics of CVA programming, considering whether to engage, and designing and executing the necessary operations for mobile money enabled CVA to be effective, is not a straightforward undertaking. The online courses will guide you through how to execute these operations effectively, through a self-paced three-week course, supported by digital learning coaches, with a mix of interactive activities, case studies, videos and quizzes.
Mobile money platforms can be well placed to serve CVA programming needs, and innovation in the coming years will determine how to craft these systems to meet the unique needs of the humanitarian sector and recipients. These training courses and accompanying handbooks serve as guidance for those currently using mobile money for CVA disbursements, and those interested in exploring this growing and promising space. For more information on the courses or to provide feedback, please contact us at email@example.com.