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Evaluating the Impact of Cash Transfer Programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Introduction to the Special Issue

Citation

Davis, Benjamin; Gaarder, Marie; Handa, Sudhanshu; & Yablonski, Jennifer (2012). Evaluating the Impact of Cash Transfer Programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Introduction to the Special Issue. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 4(1), 1-8.

Abstract

The conditional cash transfer revolution in Latin America and the Caribbean, beginning in the mid-1990s and continuing to this day, heralded a new prominence and acceptance of applying rigorous impact evaluations to social programmes. Over the last decade, sub-Saharan Africa has begun its own cash transfer revolution, and has followed a similar pattern of rigorous impact evaluation: in no fewer than 12 countries rigorous impact evaluations have been carried out or commissioned on government-run cash transfer programmes in the last few years. This paper describes how unique characteristics of the sub-Saharan African context both shape the design of cash transfer programmes and present special challenges to evaluating impact. It introduces the results of five papers in this special issue which draw on what could be considered the first generation of cash transfer impact evaluations in the region. It then highlights the new research questions currently being covered by the second generation of impact evaluations, including HIV risk (sexual debut, partner characteristics, perceptions about peer behaviour, marriage, and pregnancy), psycho-social status and mental health, conditionality (both explicit and implicit), and the contribution of cash transfers to economic growth (household level production decisions, local economy effects and attitudes towards risk).

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19439342.2012.659024

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2012

Journal Title

Journal of Development Effectiveness

Author(s)

Davis, Benjamin
Gaarder, Marie
Handa, Sudhanshu
Yablonski, Jennifer