Case study K: Palestine’s national cash transfer programme: An example of cash transfer programming in a humanitarian setting

here is strong evidence that in developed and stable contexts, social protection can enhance human capital and productivity, reduce inequalities, build resilience, and end the intergener- ational cycle of poverty (World Bank 2019). However, in humanitarian contexts, i.e. settings where a singular event or series of events such as conflict or natural disaster threaten the health, safety, and well-being of a community, most policy and programming has focused on a shorter-term safety net approach, which largely addresses economic shocks and entry into poverty. In such contexts there has been only limited attention to the social inequalities and socio-political vulnerabilities that also perpetuate poverty and threaten social cohesion because interventions are predominantly emergency and relief-oriented (Holmes and Jones 2009; Devereux et al. 2011; Abu Hamad et al. 2015). Evidence shows that in humanitarian contexts, cash transfers (CTs) alone are no silver bullet; their impacts depend on access to other services including education and health care, psychosocial support, and violence preven- tion efforts, alongside supportive policies that tackle discrimination (Jones et al. 2019). There are some promising examples of how social protection, especially CTs, can mitigate the effects of crises. Yet the evidence base is still limited, particularly around the role of social protection in rapid-onset crisis versus protracted conflict environments (Ulrichs and Sabates-Wheeler 2018). This case study therefore provides evidence about the impact of social assistance in Palestine, drawing on three rounds of empirical research conducted by the Overseas Development Institute. The first round (undertaken in 2012) explored the impact of the Palestinian National Cash Transfer Programme (PNCTP) on female-headed households (Abu Hamad and Pavanello 2012; Jones and Shaheen 2012); the second (2013–14) explored its impacts on Palestinian children (Pereznieto et al. 2014); and the third (2015–16) aimed to understand the lives of Palestinian children with disabilities (Jones et al. 2016a)