Case Study

Electronic Transfers in Humanitarian Assistance and Uptake of Financial Services: A Synthesis of ELAN Case Studies

Can humanitarian e-transfers contribute to financial inclusion?

Humanitarian cash transfer programs are designed and implemented by agencies with varying levels of experience and expertise in engaging with financial services. Connecting people with financial services is not a common goal of emergency cash programs, which tend to have humanitarian objectives, such as meeting basic needs, protecting livelihoods and increasing access to food and shelter. As such, while linking people with financial services may be a desirable outcome, it is rarely one that is specifically intended or monitored, and evidence on the link between humanitarian e-transfers and financial inclusion is limited.

In order to help narrow this evidence gap, the Electronic Cash Transfer Learning Action Network (ELAN) undertook three case studies on connecting emergency electronic transfer recipients with additional financial services. The case studies examine short-term cash transfer projects in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. They explore whether and in what circumstances cash transfers delivered through mobile money in a humanitarian program can promote the uptake and use of digital financial services.

About this Publication

By Bailey, S.