A woman’s world changes when payments are designed to suit her needs, digitized, and directed into her own account. During the pandemic, however, women were often excluded from receiving humanitarian cash transfers because of a lack of access to basic identification documents. Humanitarian organizations have become key advocates to allow functional IDS — ration cards, refugee ID cards, cards provided by cash transfer programs from organizations like World Food Programme (WFP) — to be recognized as proof of identity. The ability to register a bank or mobile money account has enabled access to humanitarian payments for millions.

This report highlights the benefits of having an ID, the barriers for women in obtaining an ID, and how we can leverage cash transfers to facilitate women’s access.

This series — created in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP), the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — shares how we can improve the design and delivery of digital cash transfers for low-income women. 


Nina Holle

Social Protection & Financial Inclusion Expert

Nina Holle is a researcher and consultant, focusing on social and environmental protection. She is passionate about creating inclusive and just societies, rethinking economics, and empowering girls and women. She also loves communicating complex issues to a broad audience. In the past, Nina consulted with a wide range of organizations including the World Bank, the United Nations, KfW Development Bank, GiZ, Kiva, UNICEF and the German Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation. Before becoming an independent consultant, Nina worked for more than a decade as a development analyst and specialist with the World Bank in Washington D.C, advancing and digitizing large-scale social safety nets such as the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) as well as with CGAP investigating the impact of financial inclusion. Nina received her master’s in economics, philosophy, and history from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich. She also completed the Postgraduate Program in International Affairs of the German State Department and the German Academic Scholarship Foundation.

Evelyn Stark

Former Vice President, Knowledge and Programs

Evelyn served as CFI’s Vice President of Knowledge and Programs where she managed research on women’s financial inclusion, fintech, and MSEs, as well as CFI’s measurement, evaluation, and learning activities and other special projects. Prior to joining CFI, Evelyn developed and executed MetLife Foundation’s financial inclusion and financial health strategies leading a global team focusing on both low- and high-income markets. Evelyn began her career managing special asset (non-performing) portfolios in the United States before moving to Uganda where she led a microfinance industry-building program and provided strategy and operations support to MFIs, projects, and international organizations as a consultant. Following her time in Uganda, Evelyn worked with USAID’s office of microenterprise development and on the Financial Services for the Poor team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on programs across a range of issues: poverty measurement, conflict-affected regions, savings, and digital financial services.

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