Integrating Cash Transfers into Gender-based Violence Programs in Jordan: Benefits, Risks and Challenges
This report by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) focuses on IRC’s cash transfer program for Syrian refugees in Jordan. Commenced in 2013, the program aimed to address gender-based violence by meeting women’s basic needs through cash transfers and targeted protection services.
This report provides a review of the program after three years of its implementation. It draws on existing literature on cash assistance and gender-based violence in urban refugee settings, and as well as focus group discussions with men and women beneficiaries and key informant interviews with program staff and key stakeholders.
It reflects on the effectiveness of using cash assistance combined with other psycho-social services, such as cash management, counselling and gender discussion groups, to address gender-based violence. It further reflects on existing methods of assessing, monitoring and evaluating similar programs. Overall, this report seeks to inform future use of cash assistance in gender-based violence (GBV) programming.
Key Findings of the Review
1. Women’s resilience to GBV is supported by both cash transfers and support services, rather than cash transfers as a standalone intervention;
2. While the impact of cash transfer can be limited to the program duration, other psycho-social support can have a lasting impact;
3. Cash transfer design can be improved to reduce vulnerability to specific forms of GBV, beyond general economic vulnerability. It can have more flexibility in terms of amounts and duration, and can be provided with different cash delivery options to meet diverse needs;
4. Targeting women for cash transfers can be perceived as undermining men’s power and place, and may put women at an additional risk of violence;
5. In the context of Jordan, providing assistance to single/divorced/widowed women can be viewed as encouraging or contributing to divorces and separation;
6. Targeting refugees alone may lead to social tensions between refugees and local communities;
7. Using quantitative scoring alone to assess women’s vulnerability and risks to GBV is insufficient for targeting.
- Lynn Yoshikawa