From manual to digital: First hand insight into Malawi’s Social Cash Transfer

How cash transfers are delivered to beneficiaries involves important policy and practical considerations. This blog presents first-hand experience of the manual distribution of Malawi’s Social Cash Transfer Programme (locally known as the Mtukula Pakhomo ). Recognising the practical demands on government staff capacity explains the move towards experimenting with alternative transfer modalities: namely e-payments. However, this approach also involves pros and cons. In previous blogs , I explored how implementing cash transfers is a demanding task. This time, I will briefly describe the manual cash transfer process in Malawi, from the perspective of an observer, to provide brief insight into the extent of the task many African government’s grapple with. I then...Read more

Conditional or unconditional cash transfers? From ideology to policy dialogue

Building resilience against hunger and malnutrition in Burkina Faso, the European Commission's humanitarian aid department (ECHO) funds the NGO ACF to provide health and nutrition care as well as food assistance including cash transfers for the poorest families. Photo credit: EC/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie
Should cash transfers be conditional or unconditional? Putting ideological views about the approach aside, policy outcomes are most often a reflection of practical limitations and political considerations. This can be said to account for the emergence of ‘soft conditions’, involving community enforcement. Conditionality Roughly speaking, social protection cash transfers can be categorised as either conditional or unconditional: Conditional cash transfers require beneficiaries to comply with specific conditions to be eligible for the transfer. These are often related to school attendance or health care. Unconditional cash transfers do not require any specific actions to be undertaken by targeted beneficiaries. The decision about whether a new programme...Read more

What role can social protection play in responding to humanitarian emergencies?

Refugee camp, Rwanda (2006) Photo credit: Elisa Finocchiaro, Flickr
What role can social protection play in responding to humanitarian emergencies? The webinar, titled What role can social protection play in responding to humanitarian emergencies , presented the findings concerning social protection systems and crisis management in Pakistan, Mozambique, Mali, the Sahel, Philippines and Lesotho. The event took place on the 11 January 2018, and focused on themes surrounding shock responsive systems and social assistance. The webinar was hosted by socialprotection.org and organised by Oxford Policy Management (OPM), in collaboration with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the Cash Learning Partnership (CALp) and the National Institute of Psychical Health (INASP). The webinar was moderated by Sarah Bailey (Research...Read more

Climate change adaptation for smallholder farmers in the Lake Chad Basin

Photo: UN Security Council United Kingdom Field Mission to the Lake Chad Basin. Photo credit: Lorey Campese, 2014, Flickr.
The Lake Chad Basin (LCB) is among the world’s biggest, located in the Sahel region of Africa (Abubakar, n.d.). It also has one of the largest sedimentary closed groundwater basins in the whole of the African continent. With its vast pasture of cultivable land and wealthy fish stocks, it is an essential area both economically and environmentally to the riparian states of Chad, Cameroon, Libya, Nigeria and Niger (GIZ, 2015b). Photo: UN Security Council United Kingdom Field Mission to the Lake Chad Basin . Photo credit: Lorey Campese, 2014, Flickr. Approximately 38 million people from diverse ethnic cultures presently live in the LCB (GIZ, 2015b). The majority of these people are from poor rural households and survive on subsistence farming (GIZ, 2015b). Recent occurrences, due to...Read more

Throughout their lives, rural women face multiple risks to their livelihoods and overall wellbeing, yet their access to affordable insurance schemes remains inadequate. This webinar, organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the 

English

Lesotho’s Child Grants Programme: From donor pilot to government programme

Ten years ago, Lesotho started thinking about a child grant. While initially designed and funded with support of the European Union (EU) and UNICEF, today, it is a nationally owned and funded programme . This blog examines the strategies that facilitated this transition . Following the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS crisis, cash transfers have spread rapidly throughout sub-Saharan Africa. One of the big questions, however, is how to turn these pilots, which were often initially funded by donors, into sustainable government programmes. Lesotho’s Child Grants Programme (CGP) is no exception to this. In this blog, I explore how the programme went from a donor-driven pilot to a government-funded programme. This transition, I believe, is highly...Read more

Cash transfers and climate change resilience in Africa

The African Development Bank is working with the Climate Investment Funds' Pilot Program for Climate Resilience in southern Mozambique (2014). Photo credit: CIF Action, Flickr
Cash transfers and resilience Social protection, particularly in the form of cash transfer programmes, are being implemented to mitigate poverty in Africa. Cash transfer programming involves providing cash or vouchers to beneficiaries instead of in-kind aid, such as clothes or food (CARE Programmes, 2017). Evidence shows that most cash transfer programmes have positive impacts on their beneficiaries (Asfaw et al., 2014; Daidone et al., 2015). While cash transfer programmes are designed to protect the effect of poverty on the poor, there is growing evidence that cash transfers can help in building resilience to climate change. This is achieved by increasing human capital, facilitating changes in economic activities by decreasing liquidity constraints, improving natural...Read more

Cultivating a long-term social protection strategy in Nigeria

A group of young ladies in the Asokoro section of Abuja, Nigeria. Photo credit: Mark Fischer, Flickr
Improving national social protection systems is a major task for all governments. The main purpose of social protection is to reduce poverty, economic shocks and vulnerability, which in turn, helps to determine the country-specific social protection design requirements (ADB, 2003). In Nigeria, there are three tiers of government: federal, state and local. Prior to the current political dispensation, at the federal level, some forms of social protection programmes had been instituted by military and civilian governments. Past social protection interventions in Nigeria include: Family Economic Advancement Programme Better Life for Rural Women Directorate for Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure National Directorate of Employment Family Support Programme Family Economic...Read more

The role of cash transfer based social assistance in eradicating poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa

Woman receiving TASAF cash transfer, Arusha, Tanzania (2016). Photo credit: Ashleigh Kate Slingsby
Woman receiving TASAF cash transfer, Arusha, Tanzania (2016). Photo credit: Ashleigh Kate Slingsby World poverty One in ten people in the world lives with less than $1.90 a day, and half of the world’s extreme poor live in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) (World Bank, 2016) . According to the World Bank, SSA is home to some 389 million people living in extreme poverty. Extreme poverty around the world has declined largely due to rapid advances in East Asia, the Pacific and South Asia – specifically in China, Indonesia and India (World Bank, 2016) . Therefore, to eradicate poverty, the focus of donors and policy practitioners needs to be on SSA. The relationship between poverty and community Data shows that the...Read more

Webinar recording from the second session on the "ISPA Public Works Assessment Tool", continuing the ISPA Webinar Series, provided a presentation on the process of initiation, implementation, results, reception and impact of an ISPA Assessment of the Public Works Component of the Tanzanian Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN) programme.

Panelists:

Barnabas Jachi, Chief Engineer, Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF)

Dampu Ndenzako, Social Protection Specialist. ILO-Tanzania

English