Unconditional Cash Transfers (UCT) in the DRC: Midline results of a pilot study in an artisanal mining zone in Maniema province

In October 2021, the Belgian non-profit organization Eight World, started a pilot project of Unconditional Cash Transfers (UCT) in a village in an artisanal mining zone in the territory of Pangi, in Maniema Province, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Eight World transfers cash directly to individual beneficiaries via a mobile money system. Each adult living in the UCT village receives 20 USD per month via her/his phone, during a period of two years, and each child in the village receives monthly 10 USD during the same period. The beneficiaries are free to decide how to spend the money, not constrained by pre-specified requirements.

One year after the start of the UCT program, International Peace Information Service (IPIS) conducted a controlled midline study to monitor indicators related to the socio-economic, physical, and mental well-being of UCT recipients. IPIS assesses the emancipation and empowerment of the UCT recipients via a comparison between the UCT village and the Control village before (baseline) and after (midline) the launch of the UCT program. After one year of cash transfers, substantial changes were observed in the UCT village for several key indicators, compared to the Control village. These observations show evidence that the intervention has had a positive effect on the socio-economic well-being of UCT recipients in a village located in an artisanal mining zone of Maniema province.