Cash and Voucher Assistance for Protection


Background: Practitioners have long recognized that Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) — along with services, case management and in-kind — are well positioned to address multi-sectoral needs and may contribute to protection outcomes. While CVA is well-established for food security and basic needs outcome areas, to date, the use of CVA in the Protection sector has been more limited compared to its use in some sectors. This is in part due to poor programme design and planning which can prevent clarity on whether CVA is designed with protection as a core outcome. It is also due to the specific nature of protection programmes, ranging from delivering emergency protection services to affected populations, technical support to governments, engagement with communities, or sometimes delivery of in-kind aid. Protection issues are complex and so are protection programmes, with CVA serving as one modality among others that can be harnessed to contribute to protection outcomes. However, some protection agencies have been implementing extensive programmes using cash for protection outcomes since 2016, bringing considerable knowledge, experience and evidence in this area.

While “protection cash” or “cash for protection” as “the use of cash and voucher assistance to help achieve protection outcomes” are terms progressively used among humanitarian practitioners, there is still a perceived lack of common understanding of these concepts and practices. Confusion sometimes surrounds how CVA can be considered within the “protection continuum”, while in other cases, the issue is related to what can and cannot be considered an appropriate use of CVA for protection outcomes.

Cash and Voucher Assistance for Protection – Stocktaking Paper:
Among its objectives for 2019-20, the GPC Task Team identified as a priority the development of a stocktaking paper on the use of cash and voucher assistance  (CVA) to achieve protection outcomes in humanitarian settings. The stock-taking paper (available in EN, ES FR, AR) is the result of that collaborative effort and will be updated periodically to capture available evidence across Areas of Responsibility (AoR). The paper aims to contribute to a common understanding of the use of CVA for protection outcomes within the protection sector amongst humanitarian stakeholders — including implementing agencies (UN, INGO, NGO and CBO), donors and host governments — sharing up-to-date evidence and practice. One of the objectives of this paper is to highlight opportunities for the effective use of CVA within the protection sector to achieve protection outcomes, whilst also identifying gaps in knowledge, evidence and practice that require critical attention and resources.

Cash and Voucher Assistance and Global Protection Cluster Areas of Responsibility:
Efforts have been taken recently to explore further the potential use of CVA for achieving protection outcomes across the full gamut of protection activities, including in the four specialized Areas of Responsibility (AoRs): Child Protection, Gender-Based Violence (GBV), Housing, Land and  (HLP) and Mine Action (MA). For more information about these AoR explore the following links and also refer to the GPC Stocktaking Paper:

CVA and Protection Resources

Tip Sheets

External Tools, Emerging Practices & Case Studies

Other useful Links:


Learn more about the GPC Task Team on Cash for Protection

Learn about Mainstreaming Protection in Cash and Voucher Assistance