Digitising Humanitarian and Social Assistance

Customers and Uses of Digital Payments

Digitising Humanitarian and Social Assistance


Financial Aid Available

This 6-week course is a general introduction to the use of digital payments in providing humanitarian aid, focusing on the mechanics of digital aid and how to digitise social assistance.

Course Details

Start Date

April 25, 2024

Enroll By

April 21, 2024

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Start Date

September 1, 2024

Enroll By

September 5, 2024

Enroll Now


6 Weeks




Digital Frontiers Institute
Digitising Humanitarian and Social Assistance

Course Information

Is This Course For You?

This course is a general introduction to the use of digital payments in humanitarian aid. We focus on the mechanics of digital humanitarian cash transfers from the perspective of those distributing cash (humanitarian agencies) as well as those receiving it (beneficiaries). We also explore the benefits of digitised aid and the reality: that many programs are limited by the extreme conditions in which they operate. Along this journey, we pull from best practices in both the humanitarian and private sectors; counter popular assumptions; and ground recommendations with voices from humanitarian implementers, private sector partners, and the beneficiaries we want to serve.

This course is intended for humanitarians (donors, advisors, and implementers), but may also be of interest to payments professionals. Humanitarians may be excited to learn how best to evaluate digital payment options, and design and manage digital cash transfer programs for greater impact. Payments professionals may want to better understand their humanitarian clients or may be exploring expansion into this growing field. We invite people who feel passionate about the link between technology and financial inclusion – as well as those who are sceptical about the extent to which technology can solve humanitarian issues – to find out more and join in our discussions.

What Are The Intended Outcomes?

Students coming out of the course should have a basic understanding of digital payment options and potential benefits; the regulatory environment that governs digital humanitarian cash; and the common pitfalls and potential of different delivery mechanisms. Students should feel prepared to grapple with design and implementation issues, including data protection, inclusive programming, partner negotiations, and contracting. Students should also feel confident in forming their own opinions on the appropriate use of technology in these emerging markets.