The potential of cash-based interventions to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment - A multi-country study

Over the past decade, the World Food Programme (WFP) has increased its use of cash-based transfers (CBTs) to assist persons who are food insecure, with CBTs considered an effective tool to contribute to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 to “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture”. In 2017, WFP provided 1.3 billion USD in cash transfers, up from 880 million USD in the previous year and being 30 percent of the total food assistance provided. 19.2 million people (51% females / 49% males), across 61 countries with 98 operations, were assisted through cash transfers in 2017.

Concurrently, gender equality is central to WFP’s work, being a prerequisite for achieving SDG 2 and so sustained food security and nutrition. Thus SDG 5 – “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” – is central to WFP fulfilling its mandate.

The study on The Potential of Cash-Based Interventions to Promote Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment sought to explore how CBIs can contribute to achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE), as ends in themselves and for food security and nutrition outcomes. Where changes in GEWE were experienced, the study sought to understand women’s and men’s perceptions of how and why changes occurred. This is not an impact study or an evaluation. Instead, it is formative research to inform WFP’s policies, processes, programming and future research, such as the WFP CBT and Gender Impact Evaluation Window scheduled to start in 2019.