Sustainability Unwrapped

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In this episode of Sustainability Unwrapped we explore cash and voucher assistance (CVA), an increasingly popular response in humanitarian assistance, and its relationship to the environment. How can environmental impact be considered in the CVA programs without forgetting the social benefits and burdening the recipients of assistance? Let’s find out.

Show Notes

In humanitarian assistance, an increasingly popular response is cash and voucher assistance (CVA). CVA refers to “the provision of cash transfers or vouchers given to individuals, household or community recipients”1. Just from 2015 to 2020, the use of CVA as a humanitarian response more than doubled, making it an important element of the humanitarian response programs2.  
CVA’s positive impact in social and economic sustainability is well established; it allows freedom in decision-making and dignity for recipients since they control how they spend the cash or vouchers, boosts local consumption and business, as well as promotes social cohesion1. However, there has not been as much focus on the environmental impact of CVA, as the programming of CVA programs often makes it difficult to assess and control their environmental impact.  
In this episode of Sustainability Unwrapped, Amin Maghsoudi, researcher at the HUMLOG institute at Hanken, discusses with José Jodar and Valérie Léon, about CVA´s relationship to the environment and how environmental impact can be considered in the CVA programs without forgetting the social benefits and burdening the recipients of assistance.  
José Jodar is a technical advisor at CaLP (the Cash Learning Partnership) with a background in development and international cooperation. Valérie Léon is a researcher at Groupe URD with a background as a field humanitarian worker for 10 years.  
Visit the podcast website for more information: 
  1. Balmer, L., Aftab Alam, S. M. and Koirala, B. (2021). Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) Programming: A step-by-step guide. Plan International.  

What is Sustainability Unwrapped?

“Sustainability Unwrapped” is a conversational podcast, where science meets practice to think about our world and how to make it more sustainable. The podcast is produced by Hanken School of Economics.