All Under One Roof
4.1 Inclusive cash and voucher assistance for shelter and settlements
Cash and vouchers are being used by an increasing number of humanitarian actors to implement different programmes and support people affected by disaster and crisis. When the conditions are right, cash and vouchers can offer greater flexibility, choice and dignity to impacted populations, including persons with disabilities. The distribution of cash and vouchers is not a stand-alone programme, but a tool for emergency response and early recovery. It can help you implement shelter and settlement activities in a participatory way, but it also requires careful monitoring and close follow-up.
Investment is required to support organisational policies and procedures that promote a disability inclusive focus for cash and voucher assistance but also investment in staff and volunteers to implement these activities in a way that is inclusive of persons with disabilities. Consider the following points when considering inclusive cash and voucher assistance activities.
Persons with disabilities should be entitled to directly receive cash assistance regardless of their disability, with the exception of cases where the person cannot look after themselves. It is recommended to conduct a protection risk analysis to ensure that the type and mode of assistance is not creating any harm to the recipient of the money.
|4.1.1||Avoid specific cash assistance programmes for persons with disabilities; opt for community-based approaches to targeting recipients in order to mitigate tension, conflict and other risks.|
|4.1.2||Ensure that all aspects of cash and voucher activities are accessible, including information (in multiple formats), monitoring and feedback systems, as well as delivery mechanisms and voucher design. For example, make sure the value printed on vouchers can be identified by persons with visual impairments.|
|4.1.3||Carry out market assessments when setting up your programme to ensure that materials are available and affordable, and that everyone has access to markets. Consider potential market barriers facing persons with disabilities.|
|4.1.4||Understand the attitudes and cultural barriers that may prevent persons with disabilities from participating in cash programmes or accessing markets, and identify possible protection risks facing recipients of the grant. Plan for community sensitisation and awareness raising activities as necessary.|
|Consider combinations of cash and in-kind support to address the specific needs of persons with disabilities. There could be materials that are difficult to find in the market and easier to provide as part of a home adaptation project (e.g. handrails, toilet chairs, accessible door handles, tactile signs). Introducing these needs to the market may also result in new job opportunities from which persons with disabilities can benefit.|
|4.1.5||Consult persons with disabilities and OPDs on the most appropriate cash and voucher delivery mechanism and to set the transfer value of cash and voucher assistance. Consider any extra costs required and what support people may need to access, handle and manage cash in their preferred way.|
|Test your design on a panel of community representatives. Also consider the needs of people who are illiterate, and make sure the use and value of vouchers for example is understandable and clearly communicated to this group.|
|4.1.6||Using vouchers instead of cash could be a way of reducing risks if there are specific security concerns regarding cash transfers for persons with disabilities. It ensures greater control for the aid organisation over how and where the money is spent, but may limit choice. Setting up a voucher programme requires significant time and resources, with increased costs for administration and monitoring.|
|The name of the recipient should be written on the voucher. For persons with disabilities unable to use the voucher, a proxy can be nominated and authorised to redeem it on their behalf. Put this in writing also.|
|4.1.7||Ensure that the location where any cash or voucher is collected e.g., distribution site, a bank or via an agent, and redeemed, is accessible, with priority lines for persons with disabilities.|
|Cash assistance may increase the protection risk for persons with disabilities who are recipients of the grant, particularly women with disabilities. Coordinate your activities with other sectors, including Protection and Health, to reduce the risk.|
|4.1.8||Transportation of shelter material can be a challenge for persons with disabilities. Adjust the amount of cash grants to include transport costs or provide rented vehicles. Combine several households into community support groups that include persons with disabilities.|
|Dependency on outside support increases the risk of exploitation, especially for women with disabilities. Establish community labour teams instead or provide contracted workers to complement the efforts of individual households.|
|4.1.9||Make sure that technical support is accessible, through training of technical staff in both disability inclusion and design standards, and by offering sound construction advice that is illustrated and clearly communicated.|
|4.1.10||Prioritise persons with disabilities for early field visits by technical staff to understand individual accessibility needs and offer support with design and construction. Determine whether additional grants are necessary.|
|4.1.11||Offer on-site assistance and follow-up to implement technical design solutions and to respond to technical issues and challenges identified through monitoring.|
|4.1.12||Monitor whether persons with disabilities have equal access to cash and vouchers in their households and can spend them.|