A people-centred approach to optimising cash and voucher assistance


How do we promote agency, dignity and choice for people affected by crisis? Cash and voucher assistance has been celebrated by the humanitarian community as the answer to this question and as a driver of change. But how do intended recipients perceive this cash revolution?


The Cash Barometer is an independent accountability mechanism that allows cash recipients to provide feedback on cash and voucher assistance, and participate in decision-making. This is done through interviews, surveys and ongoing dialogue between humanitarian actors and cash recipients. Having effective participation mechanisms in place is important for any humanitarian response, but is especially relevant for cash and voucher assistance, given global commitments to use cash as the default modality of humanitarian aid and the potential of cash transfers to promote agency, dignity, and choice among crisis-affected people.

Ground Truth Solutions is rolling out the Cash Barometer in partnership with the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) following earlier pilot studies in Afghanistan, Kenya and Turkey. The initiative combines perception surveys with user-centred approaches, as well as a facilitated dialogue between cash recipients and humanitarian actors.

In 2019 the Cash Barometer will be implemented in Nigeria and a second country to be selected in line with the Common Donor Approach for humanitarian cash programming. 




Ground Truth is currently engaging with key cash and voucher assistance actors in Nigeria to collaboratively design Cash Barometer activities. Watch this space for more updates.


Our pilot survey in Afghanistan included 600 people in Kabul, Nangarhar, and Helmand. Most received one-off cash transfers. The most common transfer modality was cash in hand. 


Respondents from Nairobi and Turkana counties rated their experience with mechanisms to receive, manage and spend cash transfers. Most received regular unrestricted cash, or food items together with electronic vouchers.


This survey analysed the views of 603 refugees, asylum-seekers, and migrants in Istanbul, Gaziantep, and Izmir. Around 70% of them received some type of cash assistance; mostly through bank cards.