Do Vouchers Work? The Impact of Humanitarian Assistance on Displaced People in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

On June 30, IPA’s Chief Research and Policy Officer Radha Rajkotia will moderate the second webinar in the series, Building the Evidence on Forced Displacement: From Research to Policy Making, to discuss findings from the latest research on forced displacement. This webinar is focused on a study on the impact of vouchers on displaced people in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Currently, the evidence on the impact of humanitarian assistance is scarce. This study looks at the impact of providing vouchers for essential household items (EHIs) on child health, mental health, resilience, and social cohesion among internally displaced persons and their hosts in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The evaluation found positive and significant improvements to participants’ mental health, both 6 weeks following the intervention and a year later. This study provides highly credible evidence, using randomized assignment, that the provision of EHIs via vouchers causes substantial improvement in adults’ mental health and moderate improvement in resilience and social cohesion.


  • Erin Kelley, Economist, Development Impact Evaluation Unit, World Bank
  • John Quattrochi, Assistant Professor and MPHS Program Director, Simmons University
  • Leslie Roberts, Professor, Population and Family Health, Columbia University
  • Emily Sloane, Cash and Markets Technical Advisor, International Rescue Committee
  • Peter Ventevogel, Senior Mental Health Officer, UNHCR


  • Radha Rajkotia, Chief Research and Policy Officer, Innovations for Poverty Action

This webinar is the second in the series Building the Evidence on Forced Displacement: From Research to Policy Making which disseminates findings from quantitative research on forced displacement and discusses its implications on programming and policy. The series provides a platform for disseminating research that is targeted and forward-looking and that will help practitioners and policymakers design and deliver effective forced displacement programs.

This webinar series is organized by the FCDO-UNHCR-WB Building the Evidence on Forced Displacement programInnovations for Poverty Action, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Labthe World Bank Development Impact Evaluation unit, the Center for Global Development, the International Rescue Committee Airbel Impact Lab, the World Food Programme and UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti.

Time: 10:00 – 11:30 AM EDT

Location: Virtual

Date: Wednesday, June 30, 2021