Barriers to the access and use of cash assistance in humanitarian settings do not only come in the form of physical barriers. Consider all of the following barriers when designing cash assistance programs:
Physical barriers in distribution points and markets (or authorized vendors in case of voucher distributions), including the lack of accessible transportation to reach the site, steps, narrow doors, inaccessible toilets.
Inaccessible technology used in money transfers through mobile phones or ATM cards (e.g. printed-only PIN numbers and non-accessible screens or ATM).
Complex or inaccessible information about registration processes and delivery mechanisms.
Complex, inaccessible or discriminatory administrative and registration procedures in cash transfer programs.
Inadequate or discriminatory scoring systems for beneficiary targeting. The lack of inclusive targeting criteria, as well as the exclusive targeting of selected groups may create disadvantages for at-risk groups).
Complex, inaccessible or discriminatory policies and process for financial services.
The assumption that persons with disabilities, older persons or chronically ill persons are unable to manage cash or that cash is inherently too risky for them or that they can only access it through intermediaries.
The assumption that in cash for work programs, persons with disabilities can only perform less-demanding tasks.
Tips to make cash transfers more inclusive:
Consult persons from at-risk groups and their representative organizations to determine if cash is feasible, accessible and safe for everyone and ensure their participate in decision making and the implementation of cash transfer programs.
Communicate information on cash assistance programs through different channels in accessible formats and ensure it reached everyone in the community.
Make sure persons from at risk groups are equally eligible to emergency cash assistance programs as direct recipients and monitor their share of the beneficiary population.
Disaggregate data on cash recipient data by sex, age and disability and ensure data protection.
Promote the inclusion of person from an at-risk group (including women, older person, persons with disabilities, child or youth) as direct recipients of household-based cash transfers.
Analyze barriers associated with available cash delivery mechanisms (direct cash, bank transfer, mobile transfer etc.) and select the most appropriate mechanism in consultation with persons from at-risk groups.
When setting the cash transfer value, consider extra cost which may for persons with disabilities, older persons, pregnant and breastfeeding women and other persons from at-risk groups to cover their basic needs.