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Cash is king — if you can get it. Mapping the user journeys of cash recipients in Ukraine

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Written by Ground Truth Solutions.

Following the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the humanitarian community has implemented the largest humanitarian cash assistance programme in history, complementing the government-led social protection system. The importance of cash in the Ukraine response is evident: aid recipients prefer this way of receiving support, and there is a conducive environment for cash-based programmes due to largely functional markets and accessible financial services providers. As such, the government and humanitarian organisations see multi-purpose cash assistance (MPCA) as a strategic priority.

Ground Truth Solutions collaborated with the Collaborative Cash Delivery (CCD) network and the Open Space Works Cooperative to get recipients’ perspectives to ensure humanitarian cash programmes and state-provided social protection support stays relevant and can be improved in real-time. We spoke with over 90 people who applied for or received cash assistance in focus group discussions and in-depth interviews, to understand their experience and identify solutions for improvements.

This is what we found:

People we spoke to say that there is an abundance of information on cash assistance, but they still do not feel informed. Those who receive cash express gratitude, but some face challenges accessing it. While digital tools for information sharing, communication, and applying for cash assistance are widely used and appreciated by many, it means that those with low digital literacy are left behind. Access barriers are not limited to applying for cash. Interviewees explain that they struggle spending the assistance at times, and they are often not aware how to provide feedback on the process.

To improve their experience with cash assistance, our interviewees recommend:

  • To improve the level of information about cash assistance, improve transparency about all aspects of aid programmes and systematically provide information about application procedures, current application status, reasons for application rejections, opportunities to apply again, and payment delays.

  • To ensure inclusive and smooth registration processes, diversify registration channels, and inform applicants about data management and protection policies. Review eligibility criteria and, in collaboration with local authorities, make cash assistance more targeted to ensure that aid is accessible to those who need it most.

  • To ensure timely payments of assistance to help aid recipients budget better and to ensure proper monitoring and oversight of cash assistance.

  • To ensure awareness of how feedback mechanisms work; use online forms and chat bots and provide separate hotlines for registration and feedback.

What’s next?

The findings summarised in this report were discussed in a preliminary state in a series of workshops held in Ukraine in April and May 2023. These workshops were facilitated in collaboration with the Inter-Agency Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) Coordinator, and humanitarian actors. actively participated in the discussions. The outcomes of these workshops include a set of recommendations to aid providers, and themes of interest for future research.

Moving forward, we intend to collaborate with CCD members to ensure the effective formulation and implementation of these recommendations. We are also continuing consultations with cash actors in Ukraine as we design the second of three rounds of data collection for this study, which is planned for August 2023.

Link to the full report:



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