Impact Evaluation Report - External Evaluation of the Mchinji Social Cash Transfer Pilot

Throughout the world, proponents of cash transfers argue that cash is a critical component of Social Protection in fighting poverty and responding to families that have been overwhelmed by disease, conflict, or other shocks (Barrientos and DeJong, 2004). Consequently, governments around the globe are increasingly using cash grants as an instrument of Social Protection for the poor. The Social Cash Transfer Scheme (CTS) is positioned to become a major poverty reduction tool in the Government of Malawi’s National Social Protection Policy, which is an effort to respond to widespread poverty, vulnerability and the “inability of households to deal with livelihoods shocks.” Malawi’s [Draft] National Social Protection Policy calls for programs and policies that confront poverty and vulnerability, directly provide transfers to the destitute, and strengthen human capital in order to break the poverty cycle (National Social Protection Technical Committee, 2008). Consequently, the Cash Transfer Scheme was designed to alleviate poverty, reduce malnutrition, and improve school enrolment among the poorest 10% of households in Malawi, by delivering regular and reliable cash transfers to ultra poor households that are also labour constrained.