A framework to evaluate payment systems for cash transfer programmes: examples from Kenya

Cash transfers are increasingly being piloted and scaled up in sub-Saharan Africa, where current evidence suggests that they have positive impacts both as emergency and long-term social protection programmes. As with any programme, the operations of cash transfers strongly influence their impact, but analyses of cash transfers have paid much more attention to targeting than to payment systems. This briefing note argues that payment systems are important in terms of programme impact, provides a framework with which to analyse them, and considers three different payment systems from three cash transfer programmes evaluated between 2010-2013 by Oxford Policy Management (OPM) in Kenya.