As an aid worker, you help people affected by disasters around the world. You are doing your best to ensure that aid gets there as fast as possible and in the safest way possible. You also know that maintaining people’s safety, dignity and autonomy whilst doing so, is just as important to recovery as the aid itself.

When it comes to Cash Based Aid (CBA) programs, 121’s goal is simply to facilitate your tasks and enable the process to be as fast as possible, whilst never compromising safety. 121 is a system that helps you with the registration, inclusion and distribution processes and tasks of CBA. It aims to reduce your administration load and address in field duplication you have when other HOs are working on CBA in the same area. 121 will allow you to spend more time on services for the very people you are there to help. Below is an overview of what we are working towards.


Current practices make CBA systems complex and slow, including many repetitive steps and recurring issues. Through Co-Design sessions, you are confirming that there is potential for you to:

  • Protect & ensure the continuous privacy of the data of the people affected.
  • Reduce administration and remove in-field duplication.
  • Reduce uncertainty with faster data to make inclusion decisions for the people you are helping.
  • Remove the need for cash distribution points, by using recognised local service providers.



You can activate registrations on 121 in anticipation of a disaster, as part of Disaster Preparedness/Early Warning Early Action or in response to a disaster or crisis. The 121 registration process protects the personal data of the person affected, allowing them to manage their data themselves.

Registration with 121 can be done on

  • personal devices
  • proxy devices (from family or friends)
  • terminals provided by your Humanitarian Organization


Once the person affected has created a digital identity, you will validate it together with the person, face to face. You will be able to achieve this without ever having to store their personal information on your digital device. This allows you to work in confidence knowing that the personal data is never stored on an insecure database. This same process can also be done by any HO using the 121 system.

You and your fellow aid workers from all organisations using 121 can use these validations of the digital identities to cross-check duplication in-field without compromising the safety and privacy of the people affected.


Once you have validated the digital identity of a person affected face to face they can use 121 to apply for any program in their area that is registered on 121. This includes the CBA you’re offering but also other programs (CBA or not) of you or other Humanitarian Organisations operating in the area.


121 was specifically designed to work towards a safer, faster and fairer kind of CBA for all. These three goals are addressed in the following ways:


121 is developed with safety and privacy by design, People affected will always have control over their own data. The 121 data storage is also distributed so you and your colleagues can operate with more confidence and trust. Depending on the local implementation of 121, the cash aid may be transferred digitally, freeing you from handling large amounts of cash and ensuring your safety as well.


As an aid worker using 121, you will be freed from many administrative functions as we replace them digitally. The 121 system will handle the bulk of the registrations and cash distribution directly with the people affected, on their phone and in their own language. This will reduce errors and waiting times, freeing up your time to focus on providing value-added services, such as protection, coordination and supporting the registration and inclusion of the (digitally) illiterate.


With faster datasets, 121 provides faster data on the criteria to decide on the inclusion of people affected to receive aid, and more clarity on the frequency and duration of this support based on the budget available. It will also provide fast communication on where and when they can receive their CBA.


Lastly, 121 will help you to ensure a fair aid distribution process. You validate the needs of people affected, and the with the data received a clear criteria can assist you in formulating a clear distribution and inclusion plan to distribute the available amount of CBA fairly among the people included in the program. This way, you know you are helping as many people as possible in the most efficient way possible.

121 is still under development. Do you want to read more about the different pilots we launched already? Please click on one of the posts below. We will be continually updating the website.

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