The Household and Individual-level Economic Impacts of Cash Transfer Programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa

Synthesis Report

image of The Household and Individual-level Economic Impacts of Cash Transfer Programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa

This report synthesizes the analysis and findings of a set of seven country impact evaluation studies that explore the impact of cash transfer programmes on household economic decision-making, productive activities and labour allocation in sub-Saharan Africa. The seven countries are Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Results from seven recently completed rigorous impact evaluations of government-run unconditional social cash transfer programmes in sub-Saharan Africa show that these programmes have significant positive impacts on the livelihoods of beneficiary households. In Zambia, the Child Grant programme had large and positive impacts across an array of income generating activities. The impact of the programmes in Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi and Zimbabwe were more selective in nature, while the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty programme in Ghana had fewer direct impacts on productive activities, and more on various dimensions of risk management.




During the past ten years, a growing number of SSA governments have launched cash transfer programmes as part of their social protection strategies. Many of these government-led programmes originated from a concern about vulnerable populations, often in the context of HIV/AIDS. This drove the setting of objectives and targeting towards an emphasis on the ultra- poor, labourconstrained households and/or households caring for OVCs. The majority of the transfer programmes are unconditional and have been designed to improve food security, health, nutritional and educational status, particularly of children.


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