Cash assistance

Increasing efficiency and effectiveness through cash and voucher assistence

The people ZOA serves live in highly complex and dynamic contexts. They have different needs in different places at different times. One of the most effective and efficient ways to provide support is through the provision of cash or vouchers to the most vulnerable population groups.

Cash is a simple, but innovative solution that has the potential to simultaneously cover urgent food needs, water and sanitation needs, shelter needs and education needs through different cash modalities. Ultimately, this results in more dignified lives in more peaceful communities. ZOA delivers cash in various ways, either restricted/unrestricted or conditional/unconditional, depending on the local context.

What we do

Cash and voucher assistance in relief

ZOA delivers aid immediately after a conflict or natural disaster strikes. This environment is extremely dynamic, with different households having different needs. However, ZOA realises the market is often still functional or recovers quickly, making it possible to provide relief through the provision of cash or vouchers. Modality choice (cash, voucher or a mixture) is made depending on the context and the vulnerable groups ZOA serves.

In this way, ZOA is able to quicker and more effectively support people on household level. Both food and non-food items are covered at the same time, without having to set-up challenging logistical and administrative processes.

Cash and voucher assistance contributes to recovery

Not only the most urgent needs of people are being covered. Since cash is continuously being used by different people in the local economy, cash and voucher assistance also contributes to the early recovery of local markets.

Besides this so-called multiplier effect, people receiving cash and voucher assistance have the possibility to invest in their own recovery. They are able to buy assets which contribute to the recovery of their lives over a longer period of time. For example, seeds or productive assets can be bought with the grant or voucher. Or people can invest in the education of their children.

Cash empowers people

ZOA believes in the strength and resilience of people we are serving. Cash and voucher assistance is an effective way to empower people to rebuild their lives again. Instead of ZOA making their choices what they need in a continuously changing environment, we strongly believe people making their own choices to rebuild their lives is more effective. In many fragile contexts we are operational in, cash is an effective tool to give people the opportunity to do this. ZOA wants to serve the community in the most dignified way possible.

Cash is being delivered in various ways

ZOA tailor-makes every cash project to the local context and the various needs people have. This means that cash is being delivered in either a restricted or unrestricted way, conditionally or unconditionally.

If the market is not sufficiently functional any more, projects are restricted through the provision of vouchers. If the local community is able and willing to perform activities or work in exchange for a grant or voucher, people receive cash or vouchers based upon fulfilment of this condition. A mixture of modalities can also be used, depending on the thorough assessment of the local context.

Networks and partners

To ensure ZOA delivers effectively in the field, we always coordinate any cash project with other humanitarian actors (including UN agencies), local government and/or private sector partners.

Further, ZOA actively contributes to the Grand Bargain commitments, of which the gearing up of cash programming is an important commitment.

Also, ZOA is in the process to become a member of the Cash & Learning Platform (CaLP).

Lastly, cash or vouchers are often delivered through local private sector players.

ZOA’s cash and voucher assistance related projects are funded by a variety of donors, including institutional and private donors.