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CashEsssentials invites you to their event

Cash and Crises Webinar #1

About this event

Humanitarian cash assistance – widely referred to in the aid sector as ‘cash and voucher assistance’ (CVA) – works within a monetary ecosystem which is evolving rapidly. Change, especially in the payments space, is being driven as much by ideology as technology, with discussions over whether physical or digital solutions are better in any given scenario taking place in the context of financial inclusion and the so-called ‘war against cash’.  The UN hosting of The Better Than Cash Alliance, a ‘special interest’ group set up by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank, DFID and USAID, among others, seems to reflect this dichotomy.

If the CVA framework is to become more sustainable and resilient for societies facing crisis and disaster, the aid world needs to be aware of the continuing relevance of cash to national economies and society at large as well as more honest about the pitfalls of fintech innovation, especially in low-income societies where there is often little option but to pay with cash.

Digital delivery may indeed be more efficient, reduce transmission risks and promote financial inclusion, as CaLP’s State of The World’s Cash report alludes, but assertions like this can be disputed. For example, it may be that:

·       Digital cash transfers are only more ‘efficient’ where the infrastructure is already in place and fully functional;

·       Mobile payments platforms such as M-Pesa can actually inhibit financial inclusion by increasing indebtedness;

·       Reducing access to cash can lead to lowering nutritional intake by children and therefore adverse health outcomes;

·       Cashless interventions exert fewer multiplier effects in the local economy and are therefore less cost-effective.

With these arguments in mind, this webinar will explore the potential benefits and harms of digital versus physical CVA options in the context of international relief and development.

Hosted by

  • Guest speaker
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    Belinda Baah Insights Manager – Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation @ GSMA

    Belinda is an Insights Manager for the GSMA’s Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation programme which seeks to accelerate the delivery and impact of digital humanitarian assistance.

  • Team member
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    James Shepherd-Barron Humanitarian Adviser @ Cash Essentials

    Independent Disaster Risk Management Consultant

  • Guest speaker
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    Ron Delnevo Chairman @ Cash and Card World

    Belinda is an Insights Manager for the GSMA’s Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation programme which seeks to accelerate the delivery and impact of digital humanitarian assistance.

  • Guest speaker
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    Will Galvin Director/Founder @ Last Mile Technology

  • Guest speaker
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    Simon Levine Senior Research Fellow @ Overseas Development Institute

    Simon Levine is a researcher for ODI’s Humanitarian Policy Group. Having first worked on humanitarian cash assistance 20 years ago, he now focuses on research on livelihoods in crises including the interface between emergency/humanitarian programming and social protection.

CashEsssentials

CashEssentials is an independent initiative offering a platform for debate about the payments and monetary ecosystems, and conducting and fostering high-quality research on cash and its future.