Salt, soap and shoes for school: The impact of pensions on the lives of older people and grandchildren in the KwaWazee project in Tanzania’s Kagera region

Cash transfers have become an increasingly popular way of providing social protection in low-income African countries. While a number of evaluations have confirmed the benefits of conditional or unconditional transfers for vulnerable households, there is much less information about the impact of social pensions for older people and the combination with child benefits in older people headed households. The KwaWazee pensions fund was started at the end of 2003 in rural Kagera in northwestern Tanzania, an area severely affected by the consequences of HIV and AIDS. By 2007 nearly 600 older people received a monthly pension of Tsh. 6,000 (an equivalent of US$ 5 in April 2008) and Tsh. 3’000 per child, if they are main carers. This study aimes to find out more about the impact of pensions and child benefits and what can be learnt from the experiences with this approach in the Kwa Wazee project. The study is composed of several parts: - An assessment of the impact of pensions and child benefits on older people and of the cost-effectiveness and implementation of the project by Stefan Hofmann, freelance consultant and Mandy Heslop, freelance consultant, HelpAge International. - An assessment of the impact of pensions and child benefits on the grandchildren by Glynis Clacherty, consultant, Clacherty & Associates. - A summary of national and regional policies for social protection aimed at older people in Tanzania and an exploration of the lessons learnt from the KwaWazee pensions fund by Dr. Flora Kessy, Senor Social Research Scientist at the Ifakara Health Research and Development Centre (IHRDC), Tanzania. For the study both quantitative and qualitative tools were used. A special focus was laid on the rarely explored area of psychosocial wellbeing of older people and its inclusion of children in an impact assessment of cash transfers through activity-based workshops is probably unprecedented.