Cash and vouchers are increasingly being used in humanitarian emergencies, so that the people affected can decide for themselves what their most urgent needs are. (Photo: NRC)

Building cash capacity

Ida Sem Fossvik|Published 16. Nov 2015|Edited 24. Jun 2016
Stand-by experts on cash and markets, funded by ECHO and DFID, are available to support UN agencies and other organisations working with cash transfers in humanitarian emergencies.

The Cash and Markets Capacity Building Roster (CashCap) is an action funded by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) as part of the Enhanced Response Capacity (ERC) funds and hosted by the Norwegian Refugee Council's Expert Deployment, NORCAP.

It deploys senior cash and market programming experts to facilitate and strengthen capacity of the
humanitarian sector to undertake and promote cash transfers in different contexts of a crisis or an emergency.

Request support

UN agencies, integrated missions, national authorities and INGO networks can request support from CashCap and cash experts will be deployed on short notice. The deployments are paid for by ECHO -funding and therefore constitutes free support to the agencies.

Read more about how to request support

"We encourage all those who think they could use the support from a CashCap-deployment to get in touch with us", says Linn Bogsnes Miles, Adviser for CashCap at NORCAP.

In the initial year of establishing the roster and capturing learnings from the first deployments in early 2016, requests for first phase crisis response are likely to be prioritized. However, the longer term vision of CashCap is to respond to all stages of crisis, from preparedness, crisis response, transitional phases and to protracted crisis.

Capacity and coordination

The first deployments took place in January 2016 and currently there are 3 experts on deployment.

In Nigeria, two CashCap experts are working to strengthen the capacity to use cash based approaches in the food security sector, and working closely with the CashCap Working Group (CWG) in country.

In line with identified needs of the CashCap working group, they have recently hosted a Cash Transfer Symposium where humanitarian organisations could share their learning and improve their tools and approaches in cash transfer programming.

In Iraq, humanitarian organizations are increasingly using cash-based interventions to support the different needs of internally displaced people and refugees. As cash response is being scaled up, a CashCap expert has been deployed for six months in the role of Cash Working Group Coordinator.

The coordinator is responsible for formalising the coordination mechanism for cash-based interventions in Iraq and ensuring effective linkages with the broader humanitarian coordination system. The deployment also has a focus on teaching humanitarian actors, and particularly partners, how to use cash in the emergency response.

Scaling up interventions

"The use of cash in emergencies is growing as it is viewed as cost effective, supports local economies and gives beneficiaries the power to decide what they need", says Linn Bogsnes Miles.

The long term vision for CashCap is to deploy in larger numbers cash and markets experts to provide support not just at a technical level, but at operational and strategic levels as well.

Therefore, we are also investing in capacity building efforts through a training and mentoring scheme externally to the roster, which is funded by DFID, the UK Department for International Development", Linn Bogsnes Miles adds.

Interested agencies that do not currently have a MoU with NRC/NORCAP, are asked to please contact NORCAP's Adviser for CashCap through email :