Shared Decision-Making in Humanitarian Cash Transfers

Jeff Paddock, Fordham University


The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate the effects of humanitarian multipurpose cash transfers on the decision-making of affected-people in an emergency. Shared Decision-Making (SDM) is a model that physicians use for treating patients, and this paper uses it as a framework for humanitarian practitioners to ethically share decision-making power with the affected-people in the process of program design. The paper applies a social constructivist lens and uses literature review findings and theoretical classifications to partially understand reality. This qualitative method employs umbrella concepts of both psychology and economics to identify the active neurobiological mechanisms that help explicate the effects of cash on decision-making. The concluding sections show that SDM can facilitate multipurpose cash transfer programs to improve decision-making between humanitarian practitioners and people affected in an emergency context. The recommendations that follow suggest ways for humanitarians to implement SDM and advocates for hormones like cortisol and oxytocin in future humanitarian studies of cash transfers.

Subject Area

International Relations|Social psychology|Economics

Recommended Citation

Paddock, Jeff, "Shared Decision-Making in Humanitarian Cash Transfers" (2021). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28263760.