Cash Transfer Programming

What is Cash Transfer Programming (CTP)?


CTP (also referred to as cash transfers or cash-based response) can be defined as the provision of money or vouchers to individuals or households, either as emergency relief to address basic needs or as recovery support to protect/re-establish economic productive activities. It can be used as part of preparedness, an emergency response or recovery.

CTP can be provided either conditionally or unconditionally. Cash given to beneficiaries without the beneficiary having to do anything specific to receive the transfer are described as unconditional CTP. If beneficiaries are required to perform an activity in order to obtain the cash transfer, we speak of conditional CTP. Activities can include the provision of work (e.g. to create assets or restore public infrastructure), the attendance to health check-ups, school or training, or the rehabilitation / reconstruction of shelter. Thus, conditional CTP provides extra leverage to promote desirable behaviour among beneficiaries. These programmes are on the other hand more resource intense to implement and monitor.

A further distinction can be made between restricted or unrestricted cash transfers. Restricted cash transfers usually refer to vouchers, which can only be redeemed in defined shops for selected food or non-food items or services. Unrestricted cash transfers refer to money provided directly to beneficiaries or through bank or mobile services. Unrestricted cash can be spent by recipients according to their needs and preferences.

The introductory Presentation on CTP provides additional information on advantages, limitations and preconditions of the cash approach and an overview on current trends.

The Video produced by ODI shows you the "10 things you should know about cash" in four minutes.

The Video produced by the Global Logistics Cluster gives an overview on the importance of markets and of understanding the supply chain in cash transfer programming.