CitationFrom Evidence to Action: The Story of Cash Transfers and Impact Evaluation in Sub Saharan Africa
(2016).. Davis, Benjamin; Handa, Sudhanshu; Hypher, Nicola; Winder Rossi, Natalia; Winters, Paul; & Yablonski, Jennifer (Eds.). Oxford, England: FAO.
Impact evaluations must be embedded in the ongoing process of policy and programme design in order to be effective in influencing country policy. This is the primary lesson found in this book, which is based on the rigorous impact evaluations and country-case study analysis of government-run cash transfer programmes undertaken in eight sub-Saharan African countries (Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi, and South Africa) evaluated as part of the Transfer Project and From Protection to Production Project. The impact evaluations employed mixed method approaches, including randomized controls trials (RCTs) and non-experimental designs, qualitative methods and village LEWIE (Local Economy-Wide Impact Evaluation)-CGE (computable general equilibrium) modelling. Evidence presented in the book counteracts concerns around social protection creating dependency showing that unconditional cash transfers lead to a broad range of social and productive impacts, even though they are not tied to any specific behaviour. Lessons on the political economy of evaluations suggest that evaluations help build the credibility of the social protection sector, strengthen the case for social protection as an investment, address public concerns around transfers, and support learning around programme design.