Aid agencies and donors should develop a “tool box” for the use and distribution of cash transfers to improve effective aid delivery, according to a new report from the Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP).

Cash and voucher programmes are increasingly being used in regions where security problems interfere with the delivery of such traditional forms of aid as food.

An estimated 4 million people in the Horn of Africa are now receiving famine assistance via cash and voucher programmes from non-governmental charities and United Nations (U.N.) agencies, according to CaLP.

The study, titled “New Technologies in Cash Transfers and Humanitarian Assistance“, was conducted because cash and voucher programmes have become more common, partly due to easier access to electronic banking technology,  but there are no established standards.

The lack of industry-wide standards led researchers to investigate some of the benefits and problems associated with the process.