Global Health Policy blog features research by CPC Fellow Handa about using cash transfers to reduce HIV-related risky behaviors

Aug 16, 2012

In a recent post on the Global Health Policy blog, Amanda Glassman and Denizhan Duran evaluate several programs that use cash transfers to reduce HIV-related risky behaviors among young people. Cash Transfers: Good for HIV/AIDS Too includes a discussion about the Kenya Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children program, which is a joint project by the Carolina Population Center and the Government of Kenya. Ashu Handa is the project's principal investigator. Handa is a UNC Professor of Public Policy and a CPC Fellow.

The blog is published by the Center for Global Development. Read the full story here.

Here is an excerpt: The Malawi and Tanzania programs were small, short-lived, and NGO-run. The first evidence of whether a large-scale national cash transfer program can reduce HIV-related risky behavior among young people comes from the government-run Kenya Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CT-OVC) program.  The program provides an unconditional $20 monthly transfer targeting 135,000 ultra-poor households and 360,000 orphans. In results from a cluster randomized longitudinal design study presented at the recent IAS meeting, Ashu Handa and co-authors find a 30% reduction in sexual debut among program beneficiaries between 15 and 20 years old (who were between 11 and 16 years old at baseline). The evaluation also found fewer occurrences of unprotected sex and fewer sexual partners for women. In addition to all these effects, the program increased secondary school enrollment to a level comparable to conditional cash transfer programs from around the world (by 8%). Similar large-scale national "unconditional" or "social" transfer programs exist in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The post ends with a note that links to some recent publications including some by Handa and by CPC Fellow Pettifor:

Note: A recent special issue of the Journal of Development Effectiveness reports on other effects of cash transfer programs in sub-Saharan Africa. A recent review of cash transfer programs in Africa by Pettifor et al aggregates evidence from 10 studies, finding promise for cash transfers in changing risky sexual behaviors.

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