Cash and voucher assistance (CVA) have become a widespread humanitarian tool to support people affected by conflicts, displacement and disasters. It promises improved ways to meet the diverse needs of aid beneficiaries. To date, current policy and academic debates mainly centre on technocratic questions around economy, effectiveness, economy and equity, and, to a lesser extent, the impact on individual recipients and households. This article challenges the assumption of CVA as a linear process and argues that the shift to CVA is more than changing the delivery platform of aid. It argues that scholarship and practice so far overlook the social meaning of money, and therefore its broader implications for humanitarian aid and local markets. The article presents evidence that CVA impacts on social relations and risks creating new, or exacerbating existing, conflicts in already fragile contexts. It highlights less explored areas of CVA and outlines a multidimensional research agenda that emphasises its potential social and socio‐economic impacts.
|Early online date||18 Feb 2021|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Feb 2021|
Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms
- Global inequalities
- Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute