Research on the Effect of Malawi SCTP for Building Household Resilience in Balaka District

This project is evaluating the impact of the Government of Malawi’s Social Cash Transfer Program (SCTP) on household resilience in Balaka District. The purpose of the evaluation is to investigate how the program influences beneficiary households’ ability to withstand shocks and positively adapt in the face of such shocks. The study examines to what extent the SCTP is generating changes in household behaviors that improve resilience to future shocks. It will evaluate whether and how the SCTP is improving immediate access to food and food diversity, as well as several dimensions of household behaviors, including whether beneficiary households are more likely to invest in human capital, strengthen asset bases, access public/private/communal resources and services, and create economic opportunities through livelihoods diversification and positive risk taking behavior such as taking credit. The study design is a social experiment made possible by the expansion of the SCTP in Balaka. From a list of all program-eligible Traditional Authorities (TA) in the expansion areas, two randomly selected TAs in Balaka District are included in the evaluation. Village Clusters within these TAs are randomly selected and assigned to either treatment or ‘delayed-treatment’ control status. The team is interviewing 1,000 households — 666 households from the treatment group and 334 from the delayed-entry control group. This is a longitudinal, mixed methods study. The evaluation includes a formative qualitative study using participatory methods (specifically the Photovoice methodology) to create a local definition of resilience and define proxy indicators. The quantitative study consists of baseline, follow-up, and endline surveys of 1,000 households. There is an embedded longitudinal qualitative study with in-depth interviews of 20 households (10 in each TA) at baseline and endline. Lastly, the endline study includes 4 focus group discussions (2 in each TA), to gain additional insight into findings from previously collected quantitative and qualitative data.

Principal Investigator: Gustavo Angeles

Funding Source: UNICEF

Grant Number: 43178293

Funding Period: 9/1/2014 - 8/31/2017

Primary Research Area: Population Health

Affiliated Research Project:

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