GWC Helpdesk

Contact GWC
Go Back

Cash and Markets in the WASH Sector

Market  based  programming  is  increasingly  heralded  as  having  a  critical  place  in  the  future  of  humanitarian  programming.  The  proposed  benefits  of  working  through  existing  market  systems  include  improvements  to  speed,  efficiency  and  effectiveness  of  programming  and  increased  beneficiary  dignity  and  choice.  Advocates  for  market  based  approaches  claim  that,  where  feasible,  they  promote  economic  recovery,  resilience,  acceptance  and  sustainability. Implementing  market  based  approaches  is  not  new  to  the  WASH  sector;  programmes  have  often  included  for  example:  cash  for  work;  vouchers  for  water  trucking,  hygiene  kits  and  fuel;  setting  up water  kiosks;  capacity  building  of  water  traders;  and  supporting  financial  systems  and  processes  as  part  of  regular  programming.  However,  the  global  discussion  around  markets  is  increasingly  focused  on  the  promotion  of  cash  as  a  cost-effective  way  of  meeting  multi-sector  needs  in  humanitarian  settings.  Whilst  the  Global  WASH  Cluster  (GWC)  supports  the  drive  for  a  more  appropriate  and  human-centred  humanitarian  response,  there  is  concern  that  without  fully  recognising  the  technical  complexity  of  the  WASH  sector,  a  push  towards  “cash-based  programming  as  the  preferred  and  default  method  of  support”  risks  focusing  on  the  provision  of  WASH  goods  and  services  to  the  detriment  of  more  holistic  rights  based,  and  public  health  approaches. This paper seeks to locate CTP within the wider spectrum of market based approaches, articulate the motivations and concerns around the use of MPG in the WASH sector, make recommendations for addressing barriers and concerns, initiate a pro-active role for the GWC in influencing and developing the global markets agenda.

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

To make sure you only get content you're interested in, please take a moment to fill out your details and preferences & subscribe to GWC Mailing List.