Abstract for: The impact of Cash-Based Interventions on the dignity enhancement in persistent humanitarian refugee crises

Cash-based interventions (CBIs) as one form of aid have recently received substantial interest from humanitarian organizations in persistent humanitarian crises. We used a system dynamics approach to study the impact of CBIs on the beneficiaries’ dignity, specifically in refugee crises like the Syrian refugees in Turkey. So far, there has been no attempt to implement a holistic set of parameters to gauge and model beneficiaries’ dignity and well-being in a persistent and long-term refugee crisis. We started by Reviewing crisis management and humanitarian aid literature in order to develop a qualitative causal loop diagram to better understand the building blocks of refugees’ dignity and their interactions with CBIs. We used the major factors in the causal model to build a quantitative stock and flow diagram, using Vensim, which was calibrated to best fit the real time-series data related to Syrian refugees in Turkey. The analysis showed that CBIs are more effective in diminishing child labour rates and improving the health and accommodation service reception by the refugees in short-terms. However, to be as much effective in longer terms, humanitarian organizations should directly contribute to service capacity-building activities. Otherwise, long-term CBI supports can only lead to accelerated service capacity saturation, thus putting extra pressure on already strained services and cause tensions between hosting and refugee communities.