MSc Thesis graduate student Beneficiary study for a digital peer-to-peer cash transfer system



Position title:               MSc Thesis graduate student “Beneficiary study for a digital peer-to-peer cash transfer system”

Duty station:               The Hague (but flexible)

Time period:                4-6 months (depending on your institution’s requirements)

Status:                         Student


About 510 and its place within the Netherlands Red Cross

510 is a self-organizing data innovation initiative of the Netherlands Red Cross. Our vision is that smart use of (big) data will help towards faster and more (cost) effective humanitarian aid at a global level. Contributing to open data, data analyses and capacity building in governments and NGOs are essential to increase the understanding of humanitarian data. We want to shape the future of humanitarian aid by converting data into understanding, and to put it in the hands of humanitarian relief workers, decision makers and people affected, so that they can better prepare for and cope with disasters and crises.

The 510 initiative was established early 2016 and has grown since into a team of 40 core and project staff, graduates, students, trainees and volunteer data experts with diverse backgrounds. The team is developing data and digital solutions for both international and domestic humanitarian aid. Our main results are published on

510 works together with all departments of the Netherlands Red Cross, as well as with different teams in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), other Red Cross National  Societies, Universities in The Netherlands and abroad, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), national governments and through the Dutch Coalition for Humanitarian Innovation (DCHI) with other NGOs and businesses.

We work in virtual teams using a fully digital collaboration environment, which enables us to bridge time differences and physical distances and to continuously work together on some of the most difficult humanitarian challenges. However, we also greatly value the opportunity to work together in a face-to-face setting, which is possible in our office in The Hague.

We invite data literate, bright and creative people, with a hands-on mentality and technical skills to join our team. All our team members should be highly self-motivated to improve the way humanitarian aid is delivered.


Purpose of the position

Cash transfer programs are direct transfer payments to victims of humanitarian crises to assist them in situations where opportunities for employment, income, livelihood, or economic production are extremely limited or have ceased to exist.

There is increasing evidence that direct cash transfer to persons in need is the way to make the humanitarian response most impactful. Among the mobile solutions, peer-to-peer (p2p) is a payment service model that does not depend on financial institutions and mobile network operators to provide mobile payment. In a p2p payment the transaction starts from the donor and ends at the beneficiary, reducing overhead costs and improving efficiency and transparency. The 510 Data Team will implement an end-to-end p2p cash transfer system for humanitarian response within a dedicated multi-year program sponsored by the Netherlands Red Cross, with the intention of having a field test of peer-to-peer cash transfer in at least one country in the next two years.

The purpose of this master assignment is to investigate the requirements and possibilities for the p2p system on the side of the beneficiary in the pilot country, with a focus on the social interface of the system.


Goals and activities

The research by the MSc will include the following phases:

  • Establishment of state -of-the art and current practice via
  • Analysis of results and reflection on the impact/consequences for a p2p system
  • Drafting a design of the social interface of the system based on results
  • Possibly a deployment in the pilot country to conduct interviews with relevant stakeholders and organizations
  • Presentation of the results of the development phase to a sample of stakeholders for feedback collection
  • Reporting

Research questions

The following are examples of research questions that can guide the MSc assignment:

  • What is the current practice and processes for cash distribution in the pilot country?
  • What are the possibilities for fully digitize cash distribution in the pilot country?
  • How can a p2p system be shaped to best cover the demand from the communities?
  • What are the social, legal, political institutional limits and opportunities  to the development of the system?



  • Bringing your knowledge, experience and passions to the team.
  • Affinity with – and motivated by – the 510 mission and vision.
  • Currently following a University Master’s degree, has excellent grades at the university and is in the phase of doing a masters graduation project.
  • Preferably in the field of Marketing, Anthropology, International Studies or related field.
  • Is fluent in English.


We offer

A graduation position. We offer travel compensation to our office in the Hague. Possibility for field deployment.

You will be part of a vibrant community of data-driven humanitarians. We share and teach one another where possible.



Please reply to this advert by filling this form.

The post will be open until the right candidate has been found.

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