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WFP's Cash and Voucher Policy: A Policy Evaluation

This evaluation of WFP’s 2008 cash and voucher policy was commissioned by the Office of Evaluation in order to assess the quality and results of the policy and its implementation.

The evaluation found that although the policy does not represent WFP’s current best practice for policies, it served its purpose in establishing the basis for authorizing use of cash transfers and vouchers within WFP’s mandate. However, the intended outcomes of the policy — such as empowerment of beneficiaries, improved livelihoods and better coping strategies — were not measured systematically, and the lack of disaggregation by modality at project level in the corporate monitoring system makes it impossible to attribute achievement of corporate outcomes or outputs to modality, be it cash, vouchers or in-kind food. Other expected outcomes from the policy were related to efficiency gains in the business process, which were found to have had mixed results, with some key bottlenecks causing significant delays.

Among key recommendations are updating revised manuals and guidance, rather than updating the policy. Furthermore it recommends that WFP invest in capacity development, identify and empower leadership on cash transfers and vouchers, and build evidence to clarify its value proposition to its external partners.