Cash and voucher assistance (CVA) refers to programs where cash or vouchers, exchangeable for goods or services, are directly provided to community members. CVA can help improve access to and the utilisation of health services, by reducing direct and indirect financial barriers and incentivising the use of free preventive services. There is also a growing body of evidence which shows that CVA should always be considered alongside other supply- and demand-side interventions rather than as a stand-alone action.
Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) services are an essential component of the humanitarian response. Despite the growing interest in including CVA while planning and providing SRHR services among humanitarian partners, there is limited evidence about its effectiveness and feasibility in humanitarian settings.
This contrasts greatly with the large body of evidence available around the use of CVA as a component of SRHR programs in development settings. Given the fact that experiences from the development sector cannot be automatically transferred to humanitarian situations, there was a need to consolidate existing evidence around CVA for SRHR services, document current practices, and discuss the findings with key actors, with the aim of defining its potential role in the planning and provision of SRHR services in humanitarian settings.
KIT conducted a broad literature review and two case studies in Yemen and Afghanistan and developed a compendium of guidelines and tools for CVA for SRHR in humanitarian settings, to answer the following questions:
- What are the effects of CVA on SRHR outcomes in humanitarian settings?
- What is the operational feasibility of CVA within or complementary to other SRHR interventions in humanitarian settings?
- What are the comparative advantages/disadvantages of CVA within or complementary to other interventions as a means to reduce financial barriers and/or increase access to and utilisation of SRHR services in humanitarian settings?
- What are the lessons learned and the operational recommendations for future CVA for SRHR programming?
- What are appropriate guidelines and tools aimed at assessing feasibility and assisting with the implementation of CVA in humanitarian settings?