Cash-for-work is a short-term intervention used by humanitarian assistance organizations to provide temporary employment in public projects - such as repairing roads, clearing debris or re-building infrastructure - to the most vulnerable segments of a population. The methodology is relatively new, but its use has become increasingly common in food insecure, disaster-affected or post-conflict environments.
In this document, Mercy Corps examines the process of cash-for-work (CfW) implementation and provides a general methodology that can be adapted to the many different countries and contexts in which we work. Based on our own experience implementing cash-for-work programs, Mercy Corps' Guide to Cash-for-Work Programming addresses the rationale of cash-for-work and describes when the use of the methodology is most appropriate.
The Guide provides simple, useful tools for determining the appropriateness of CfW, a general framework for implementation, and the forms and documents necessary for implementing CfW programs. This guide is meant to act only as a general guideline. Each program will vary in context, and the CfW process should be adjusted accordingly.
The Guide to Cash-for-Work Programming is intended for Mercy Corps' staff members who are unfamiliar with the process of CfW implementation, as well as other interested actors working within the development and humanitarian aid industries.