Elevating Education in Emergencies: Making Cash Transfers Work for Education Responses



Cash and Voucher Assistance refers to the provision of cash transfers or vouchers directly to aid recipients. In development contexts it can be equated to social assistance, which transfers money to individuals and households to ensure they can access basic goods and services. In humanitarian contexts, cash is a modality used to address needs caused by conflict, natural disasters and other types of crisis.

The use cash and voucher assistance has increased significantly within the humanitarian arena in recent years due to its ability to effectively and efficiently meet needs in a flexible and dignified manner. However, its use within the education sector specifically has been limited, largely due to the absence of robust evidence and guidance. In 2018, the Global Education Cluster started working to expand the sector’s knowledge of cash to support its use, scale-up, coverage and quality within education in emergencies response.

The second installment in the Elevating Education in Emergencies series outlined the potential for cash and voucher assistance for the education sector to help meet growing needs. Discussions with experienced practitioners and lessons from country contexts were along three thematic areas:

  • The role of coordination among sectors to collect and share key data to support evidence-based decisions on the use of cash and voucher assistance for education in emergencies
  • Supplementing cash and voucher assistance with other interventions to ensure both economic and non-economic barriers to education are addressed; and
  • Linking cash and voucher assistance with social safety nets to strengthen the humanitarian-development nexus within the education sector.


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