Haitian Elonge Etienne receives a SIM-card from CashCap expert Rachel Bannerman in a village outside Jeremie, Haiti. Etienne can use the SIM-card to retrieve cash from a shop and can then spend it on what she needs the most. "This is the first time we receive any help after the hurricane. I will use the money to buy food that I can sell, just like I used to do before", she says. She lives with her husband and three children. Their house was completely destroyed in the hurricane and they've put up a makeshift shelter where they now live.  (Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC)
Read caption CashCap expert Rachel Bannerman (right) with Elonge Etienne in a village outside Jeremie in Haiti. Bannerman was deployed to OCHA to set up the cash working group after hurricane Matthew in 2016. (Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC)


Published 25. Apr 2018
CashCap aims to increase the use and effectiveness of cash and markets programming in all stages of a crisis response: from preparedness and prevention to emergency and recovery activities.

CashCap is the Cash and Markets Standby Capacity Project – an inter-agency project managed by NORCAP.

In line with the main Grand Bargain commitments, CashCap aims to increase the use and effectiveness of cash and markets programming in all stages of a crisis response, from preparedness and prevention to emergency and recovery activities. CashCap experts support the whole humanitarian response, and not just a specific agency.

CashCap experts work alongside partners to support the coordination of cash and markets actors and to help integrate cash programming in the overall humanitarian response. We build capacity within host agencies, national and local stakeholders, contributing to bridging gaps and improving the quality of cash-based interventions. We work to enhance the number, quality and effectiveness of senior cash transfer programming experts available to the humanitarian system.

Read also: How to request CashCap support.

The challenge

One of the main challenges with cash programming today is a lack of coordination and collaboration among humanitarian actors. Because coordination of cash-based interventions does not fit the regular structures, these actors have trouble working together. They lack expertise in planning and coordination across multiple sectors. The result is a myriad of different cash-responses.

CashCap contributes to solving these issues and support humanitarian agencies in providing efficient and dignified aid.

CashCap’s work is guided by a Steering Committee consisting of consisting of the global Food Security ClusterWorld Food Programme, UNHCR, Food and Agriculture OrganisationWorld Vision InternationalAction Contre la Faim, the UK Department for international development (DFID)European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)  In addition, the Cash Learning Partnership is a technical adviser. 

“Whether protracted, sudden onset, population movement or global policy environments, CashCap experts have consistently received appreciation for delivering professional value to the humanitarian community and affected populations."             
   Tim McInerny, CashCap expert
(Photo: Ingrid Prestetun/NRC)

Our results


In 2017, two CashCap experts played a significant role in establishing and lifting the cash and markets working group to the highest strategic level of the humanitarian response. This fostered a wider sense of ownership in the cash agenda for the entire humanitarian country team.

In addition, they initiated and organized a joint assessment; developed common standards for cash transfer programming; and worked with banks and other national stakeholders to ensure a more harmonised and effective response.

Our CashCap experts also influenced more than cash programming. Together with UN colleagues, they advocated to improve exchange rates for humanitarian agencies, which cut the cost of assistance by up to 30 per cent.


Cash assistance was initially perceived to be relevant only to internally displaced, returnees and host communities. However, due to the CashCap expert's efforts to position cash at a strategically higher level and building on a wider evidence base, cash assistance is now used for all target populations, including refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.


Working remotely from Gaziantep in Turkey, the CashCap expert helped cash-implementing partners in Northern Syria and the Syrian refugee response inside Turkey to learn from each other, to improve the quality and accountability of cash transfer programming.

CashCap donors