Conditional cash transfers in African countries
Poverty affects a large proportion of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa and, far from decreasing, the proportion and numbers of poor people in Sub-Saharan Africa have actually increased over the last ten years. Policies to reduce poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and elsewhere are defying conventional wisdom. Single-focus solutions have proved ineffective. There is an urgent need to learn from both successful and failed experiences that have been tried elsewhere. This study provides an ex-ante assessment of the implementation of a cash transfer programme conditional on school attendance in 15 Sub-Saharan African countries. Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programmes have been tried in other regions, notably Latin America, with relative success. The two key characteristics of CCT programmes are that they simultaneously act upon the short and long term dimensions of poverty. Therefore we investigate here both the impact of a cash transfer on current poverty and the impact of conditioning the transfer upon school attendance.