The Cash Atlas is now offline

Improving CTP Tracking and CaLP’s Role

The ODI/DI working paper Counting Cash - Tracking humanitarian expenditure in cash based programming (December 2016) analysed current practice and set out recommendations for improving how CTP is tracked. These recommendations focus on building on existing systems. CTP must be tracked within wider efforts to improve humanitarian data and reporting, not through stand-alone systems. This includes building mechanisms to track CTP into (a) the global and coordinated interagency systems used for collecting and collating data, and (b) organisations’ internal systems.

Drawing on these recommendations, CaLP will contribute to improving cash tracking through several activities which can provide effective and practical support in the short to medium term (see the attached briefing note for more information):

  • Co-lead the development of guidelines for systematic CTP tracking at organisational and project levels
  • Establish and coordinate a dedicated Cash Tracking Working Group
  • Contribute to annual studies on CTP expenditure
  • Promote emerging solutions

Taking the Cash Atlas Offline

CaLP’s Cash Atlas was originally established with the aim of filling a gap in the reporting of cash transfer programming (CTP). At its core is an interactive map which allows users to search for cash projects by different criteria, and to upload their CTP projects. Since it was established, data from well over one thousand projects has been uploaded, providing a valuable resource, particularly at a time when there was no other attempt at tracking the use of CTP. The contributions of agencies to this mapping have contributed significantly to coordination and advocacy efforts in CTP. However, the Cash Atlas’s reliance on voluntary data submissions, which are not integrated with other humanitarian reporting systems and with data which is not fully comparable, means it provides an increasingly incomplete record, against a background of increasing formalisation of cash tracking.

The Cash Atlas is therefore not currently able to fulfil its objectives, and is providing incomplete and possibly misleading information. As of May 2017, CaLP has made the difficult decision to take it offline. Existing data will be backed up and stored in a format that allows it to be accessed if needed.

The Future of the Cash Atlas

If the Cash Atlas is to be re-established in some form, it must form part of an overall, integrated, system of CTP tracking – which CaLP will be working to help build. CaLP will explore the options of how the Cash Atlas could be made more effective, building on its valuable elements as a visual and interactive tool.