Shaping the future: Our strategy for research and innovation in humanitarian response.

A global organisation that finds solutions to complex humanitarian problems through research and innovation..
Our purpose is clear: we work in partnership with a global community of humanitarian actors, researchers and innovators to improve the quality of humanitarian action and deliver better outcomes for people affected by crises.
We empower the humanitarian community. Find out how we can support you...

What is the humanitarian need?

Migrant and refugee women, girls and LGBTQI+ people are vulnerable to IPV before, during and after humanitarian crises. Cash and Voucher Assistance provides funds to help displaced survivors meet urgent costs safely, flee an abusive relationship and access temporary accommodation, services, food and clothing. But, despite evidence that Cash and Voucher Assistance can help reduce IPV and that it supports survivors’ recovery, the humanitarian community is yet to fully and consistently integrate it into GBV case management. There is a need to fill the evidence gaps and provide more robust data to encourage the inclusion of Cash and Voucher Assistance in GBV programming to enable better response to IPV.

What is the innovative solution?

The Cash-Integrated GBV Case Management Program makes funds available to migrant, refugee and local populations that have been subjected to IPV. It equips these people to access relevant services relating to their most pressing needs, opening up new life possibilities.

What progress has been made?

The program’s design was tested in a joint program implementation and evaluation project in North-west Syria, Colombia and Ecuador involving IPV survivors from host communities, refugees and forced migrants.  Participants were split into two groups: some were given unconditional cash transfers within GBV case management; others received GBV case management alone.

Refugee and migrant women in the ‘cash group’ reported experiencing less IPV, more employment, and better access to services. They felt safer and more secure; one-third invested in a small business to create a sustainable income; they weren’t drawn back to their abusers. Their levels of independence, confidence and resilience were greater than those of the ‘non-cash’ group. And their children benefited behaviourally, psychologically and physically as a result of the financial support.

The quasi-experimental mixed methods research generated evidence in support of, and provided recommendations for, integrated cash and GBV programming to support IPV survivors to recover from violence. The findings show how cash assistance provided IPV survivors with more strategies to protect themselves against GBV than GBV case management alone. They could choose how best to address their individualised protection needs. With fully harmonised support, Cash and Voucher Assistance could be used more directly to reduce GBV risk and exposure by, for example, enabling an IPV survivor to leave their abusive partner, afford a restraining order, or pay for urgent medical care to recover from physical abuse.

Innovation potential

There is scope to build on the team’s work so far by encouraging the inclusion of cash in GBV case management in tandem with other activities and services, including legal and psychosocial support and workshops to build peer networks. There are opportunities to strengthen referrals to active, effective, safe livelihoods programming, and to design GBV awareness campaigns to help shift attitudes that normalise GBV, including among survivors themselves. And building a dedicated referral network across organisations would open up the possibility of a survivors’ diverse needs being met.

Links to more information

Gender-Sensitive Cash and Voucher Assistance

Integrating Cash and Voucher Assistance into Gender-Based Violence

Integrated Cash and Gender-Based Violence Programming for IPV Survivors in Guayaquil, Ecuador (Executive Summary)

Integrated Cash and Gender-Based Violence Programming for IPV Survivors in Guayaquil, Ecuador (Full Report)

Standard Operating Procedures – Ecuador

Evidence on the Use of Cash and Voucher Assistance to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Settings

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Latest Updates


May 2022

For several years, the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) has been looking at whether giving survivors of GBV cash alongside case management will enhance their protection and well-being.


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