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Making humanitarian cash programming easier, safer and faster through the 121 Platform

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Most humanitarian organisations, intervene in a combination of sectors, such as shelter, food security, nutrition, education and water, sanitation and hygiene. People affected by crisis or exclusion are living in a variety circumstances and have different needs and wants in their own situation. Cash and Voucher Assistance has increasingly become a key delivery modality to address humanitarian needs.

Humanitarian organisations are facing the challenge on offering support fit to each individual and/or the community they live in. To meet the needs of people affected, humanitarian organisations are increasingly using cash transfer programmes. But insufficient knowledge, skills, systems and tools are key barriers to increase cash program quality and scale. Anton van Wijk, Humanitarian Aid Expert at Dorcas and lead within this project: ‘The 121 Platform is a unique platform to manage Cash and Voucher Assistance programs in that it is easy to deploy and use and in that it can be integrated with local financial service-providers. The 121 Platform is developed in collaboration with aid workers and people affected by crisis. With this Platform, humanitarian organisations can offer support fit to each individual.’

Better Cash Information Management and improved systems and tools can address the gap for humanitarian organisations and increase cash program quality and scale. The 121 Platform offers this solution with a Humanitarian Organisation Portal, Aid Worker App and Person Affected App. The Humanitarian Organisation Portal is developed to monitor registrations, include people, send payments, send notifications to people. The Aid Worker App is to validate registrations. This helps to reduce duplication, increase efficiency and handle data responsibly. The Person Affected App is used for self-registration for programmes. It reduces time-to-register, complexity and unclarity. After pilots in Kenya and The Netherlands’, the Humanitarian Organisation Portal, Aid Worker App and Person Affected App are planned to be used in several contexts in Lebanon and Ethiopia from December this year. The pilot in The Netherlands was so successful that it has led to an ongoing project with undocumented migrants.

The 121 platform has been developed simultaneously with the Cash Program Design Wizard. The Cash Program Design Wizard is a decision-support tool to design quality Cash and Voucher Assistance programs based on sector-wide best-practices learnt form practitioners in co design sessions and enriched with knowledge from multiple cash program guides across different NGO's. This tool can be used both in the field and at the head office for collaborative cash program design.

In order to keep improving the quality of the programmes in this increasingly digital world, humanitarian organisations must continuously build on their Information Management skills. Therefore, training-series are provided to build capacity in information management for cash projects. These training-series give insight in topics such as; general introduction Cash Information Management, data literacy and management, data and mobile data collection, basic form-building and mobile data collection in the field, advanced form-building with xlsforms, data cleaning and analysis and data visualisation.

The 121 platform is a collaboration between the Netherlands Red Cross and five partners within the Dutch Relief Alliance: Dorcas, Cordaid, Help a Child, Tearfund and ZOA.

Want to know more on the 121 platform? Visit www.121.global for more information or to sign in for information on all developments. You can also contact Anton van Wijk (Humanitarian Aid Expert at Dorcas) via a.vanwijk@dorcas.nl.