Digital Financial Tools for Humanitarian Response


After viewing the webinar recording below, please take a few seconds to share your anonymous evaluation with us. Thanks!

Digital financial tools and increasing connectivity are key enablers for effective delivery of humanitarian aid and support for the financial inclusion of refugees and internally displaced people. Humanitarian cash transfer programs via mobile money can improve traceability, efficiency, timeliness, and cost-effective delivery of aid. It also enables local economic growth and empowers displaced people to self-organize.

This webinar, part of an ongoing series around ICT4D, will explore new digital financial innovations for displaced people and affected communities during and after disasters, conflicts or emergencies.

Expert speakers from diverse backgrounds will share lessons learned, introduce new user-friendly designs, address steps to strengthen data protection and privacy, and discuss what the humanitarian sector in collaboration with financial services has in store to support future humanitarian response and digital financial inclusion.

Resources Shared in This Webinar


Research: Human-Centered Approach to Mobile Wallets and Their Impact in Jordan

  • The Central Bank of Jordan launched the JoMoPay (Jordan Mobile Payments) system, as almost 60% of Jordanian residents do not have access to a formal bank or other transaction account.
  • Using a human-centered approach to explore the financial behaviors of business owners in different communities of Jordan, from refugee-owned home-based businesses to high tech startups
  • Are mobile wallets in Jordan are an effective tool for Digital Financial Inclusion?
  • And if so, how the system and technology should best be designed to serve the needs of Jordan's vulnerable residents?

Implementing and Improving CRS’ Cash and Asset Transfer Platform

  • Using financial tools for humanitarian response: from piloting to scaling up
  • The disruption of the humanitarian value chain: understanding the specifics of the Cash and Asset Transfer (CAT) platform and working with the private sector partners
  • Steps taken to improve data protection and beneficiary privacy

Lessons Learned from OneCard (UNHCR & WFP) – speaker tbc

Q&A & Panel Discussion

  • What digital financial innovations are expected to have the most impact on the effectiveness of humanitarian response now and in the next years?
  • Interoperability: How to best connect emerging with existing technologies?
  • How can humanitarian organizations better partner with financial service providers, IT/network companies, and the government agencies to further financial inclusion of refugees and displaced persons?


Alesh Brown, Independent Consultant


Marina Aksakalova, Assistant Representative (Programme), UNHCR Beirut, Lebanon

William Martin, Technical Advisor-Cash and Markets, Humanitarian Response Department, Catholic Relief Services

Max Nichols, Consultant, Digital Financial Services, Mercy Corps

Maxime Bazin, Country Office Cash Transfer Specialist, UNICEF Lebanon.

Charbel Habib, Head of the Cash Based Transfer Unit (CBT Unit), WFP Lebanon


Speaker Bios

William Martin, Technical Advisor-Cash and Markets, Humanitarian Response Department, Catholic Relief Services
William has more than ten years of experience as a political economist deployed in response to conflicts, natural disasters, or protracted crises. He is currently working as Technical Advisor–Cash and Markets based interventions for the Humanitarian Response Department at Catholic Relief Services (CRS). With CRS he contributed to double the portfolio of cash transfer programming, championed cash and market-based approaches across sectors particularly with Shelter, and spearheaded initiatives on digitalization of cash transfers. William holds a Master’s degree from the Sorbonne’s Institute for Economic and Social Studies and he is currently living in Washington, DC.

Max Nichols, Consultant, Digital Financial Services, Mercy Corps
Max is a researcher focused best practices for designing systems and technologies for the poor. Before his current role as a consultant on the mobile money ecosystem in Jordan, Max ran Mercy Corps' mobile wallet cash assistance pilot for female refugees in northern Jordan. Prior to working with Mercy Corps, Max was a Fulbright Researcher at the Refugee Studies Center at Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan, where he tested the efficacy of different methodologies for including refugees in technology design processes. Before living and working in the Middle East, Max worked in the Bay Area at number of different tech and migration focused organizations and startups. An entrepreneur, he founded a website focused on economic development of communities by encouraging new movers to shop local. Max earned a B.A. in International Relations with a Minor in Arabic studies from Connecticut College.

Marina Aksakalova, Assistant Representative (Programme), UNHCR Beirut, Lebanon
Over twenty years of work in the humanitarian field, mainly in programme management in the Russian Federation, Bangladesh, Syrian Arab Republic, Republic of South Sudan and currently – in Lebanon.
Marina is involved in the delivery and advancement of the LOUISE Concept since 2017.
Maxime Bazin, Country Office Cash Transfer Specialist, UNICEF Lebanon
He joined the organization in 2015. Before that, Maxime designed and implemented cash programmes Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine since 2011 as programme manager and technical adviser. Maxime participated to the definition and building of the LOUISE platform since its beginning in 2016.

Alesh Brown, Independent Consultant
Alesh is a highly motivated freethinker with a keen interest in the power of networks, aid metrics and technology. He has over 7 years’ experience working in the start-up and humanitarian sectors, supporting UN, governments and NGO agencies deliver cash to people affected by emergencies around the world. Most recently, this has included building www.becashready.org, humanitychain.io and bedataready.io.

Charbel Habib, Head of the Cash Based Transfer Unit (CBT Unit), WFP Lebanon
Charbel started working with WFP in 2013 where he has assumed different positions in various Units including logistics and programme at the country office level during emergencies. The WFP Lebanon operation has provided an opportunity to create networks with other WFP offices implementing C&V programmes and other partners both private and public actors. He had managed to negotiate the terms of the agreement with the financial service provide, central bank of Lebanon and MasterCard international in direct collaboration with Legal colleagues from HQ. As the prepaid card instrument issued by FSP was not mature at the organization level, a full set of procedures and processes were developed by Charbel to ensure a secure data flow and proper segregation of duty.

Our website uses Cookies to enhance your experience and to measure, understand, and improve our website. By continuing to use this website you agree to the use of Cookies. If you do not agree, you can decide to disable Cookies in your web browser. Learn More About Cookies
Got it!