Effects of a single cash transfer on school re-enrollment during COVID-19 among vulnerable adolescent girls in Kenya: Randomized controlled trial

COVID-19 related school closures in Kenya were among the longest in Africa, putting older adolescent girls nearing the end of secondary school at risk of permanent dropout. Using a randomized-controlled trial we evaluated a logistically simple cash transfer intervention in urban areas designed to promote their return to school. There were no required conditions for receiving the transfer and the intervention is interpreted as a labeled cash transfer. It had substantial significant effects on re-enrollment of adolescent girls, with greater effectiveness for older girls and even for some not enrolled earlier in the school year. The program effectiveness demonstrates feasibility of the approach and underscores the potential importance of additional resources for schooling during the pandemic, when a large majority of households had suffered income losses.