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Safety, dignity, and access must come first

Ground Truth Solutions
Дата публикации

Experiences of cash and voucher assistance in the Central African Republic

Executive summary

People say cash and vouchers help them meet their needs. The people we interviewed feel such aid was helpful and delivered during a time of need. Many say it enables them, among other things, to eat regularly and to send their children to school.

  • Cash and voucher recipients appreciate their autonomy, in terms of choosing what to buy, and feeling less dependent on others. Cash recipients in particular say the ability to use cash for income-generating activities lead to feelings of autonomy.

  • People generally feel safe when accessing aid, but not at other points of the process such as targeting and after distributions. They told us that greater discretion during the selection process, measures to avoid crowding, and physical perimeters at distribution sites would make them feel safer. Long waits mean they stand amid crowds in harsh weather. They suggest holding distributions on different days in groups, providing staff, or partnering with community leaders to monitor distributions and inform people throughout the process.

  • Those receiving cash and voucher assistance feel the way agencies choose who gets assistance is unfair. Top-down approaches and unclear communication of targeting probably contribute to this perception, which can affect people’s relations with community members not selected for CVA. People express concerns about the role of community leaders in targeting, including allegations of corruption.

  • People are worried about delays and irregular distribution schedules that impact their ability to plan for the future.

  • Cash and voucher recipients want more accountability for all stakeholders, including community leaders, vendors, and aid providers, with whom they need more direct communication and easier ways to complain and give feedback. They raise concerns about humanitarian actors engaging primarily with community leaders, despite distrust among community members. Some also did not receive satisfactory responses to their complaints. Others complain about vendors increasing the price of goods exchanged for vouchers.

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