Cash Transfers in Raqqa Governorate, Syria: Changes Over Time in Women’s Experiences of Violence & Wellbeing

Cash and voucher assistance (CVA) has quickly become one of the most widely used modalities of aid in humanitarian crises. In humanitarian contexts, cash assistance has been shown to have significant positive impacts on food security and basic needs for households, helping them to withstand conflict-related economic shocks and market fluctuations, and reducing their reliance on negative coping. Nevertheless, the majority of data are from long-term programming in low- and middle-income countries. More evidence is therefore needed on the impact of cash assistance on violence against women and girls (VAWG) in acute emergency response.

To address this gap in evidence, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) conducted a mixed-methods assessment of an emergency cash assistance programme in Raqqa Governorate in northeast Syria, as part of the UK-funded global programme, What Works to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls in Conflict and Humanitarian Settings. The aim of the study was to better understand the influence of conditional cash transfers on protection outcomes for women, including experiences of VAWG and other aspects of women’s wellbeing. This study represents the first systematic mixed-methods research effort, to our knowledge, inside Raqqa Governorate, Syria in recent years, providing much-needed data on cash programming and the experiences of women in general.