35. Cash transfers in humanitarian response - ODIHPN Database


Learning outcome

After completing this activity, students will have a deeper understanding of the notion of gift and trust in anthropology and its transcription in cash transfer humanitarian activities. In addition, students will develop familiarity with Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) resources.


Please visit ODIHPN Database and search for documents related to cash transfers in humanitarian response, particularly the ones listed below and answer the quiz questions:

‘In-kind donations: who benefits?’
‘What cash transfers tell us about the international humanitarian community’


In recent years cash transfers have been widely described as innovative by humanitarian agencies. Nonetheless, research studies have also brought to light that in vast majorities of traditional societies trust and reciprocity is built through exchange of gifts, without which unintentional power relations are likely to occur. The Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is the institutional location of the Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN) where researches are conducted by a wide range of individuals and organisations and published. Policy-makers, researchers, students and practitioners working in or on the humanitarian sector use HPN as a forum for sharing and disseminating information, analysis and experience, and to learn from it.

Take quiz

Question 11 pts

Cash transfers although innovative are widely debated in the humanitarian field. Assisting the affected population with cash dates back to which of the following?

Question 21 pts

Which of the following is essential in order to understand how livelihoods and coping strategies of affected populations are organised?

Question 31 pts

Cash transfers leading to empowerment is a debated topic, particularly when the affected population are continuously asked if the money is spent responsibly. What does it imply?

Question 41 pts

Cash transfers are said to be one of the recent innovations and cutting edge in humanitarian action. What else should cash as a form of assistance be considered as by the humanitarian agencies?

Question 51 pts

In terms of disaster preparedness, when is cash as a form of assistance considered?

Question 61 pts

Through an anthropological perspective in traditional societies it is important to establish a link of reciprocity and trust between the humanitarian actors and the recipients or it can result in unintentional ethnocentrism. What else is required apart from learning and conducting research on cash transfers to deliver improved responses? (Check all that apply)

Question 71 pts

Which of the following the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development believes as a better form of aid that can enable the affected population exercise choice?

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