Conditional cash transfers, child work and schooling

Abstract: Conditional cash transfers, child work and schooling: mixed methods evidence from the United Republic of Tanzania

We examined the impact of the United Republic of Tanzania’s Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN) on child work and education. The programme provides to extremely poor households cash transfers that are partly conditional on their use of health and education services, along with a public works component that guarantees 15 days of paid work per month for up to four months.

We relied on a cluster-randomized evaluation design, assigning villages to one of two study arms: receiving the PSSN (either cash transfers only, or cash transfers combined with public works); and control. We complemented the quantitative analysis with findings from in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with children and caregivers, involving a subsample of participants from both study arms. Due to household investment of PSSN benefits in livestock, the programme caused a shift from work for pay outside the household to work within the household, mostly in livestock herding.

The programme improved child education outcomes. These findings were echoed in the qualitative data – participants referred to working on family farms as being both safer for children and more beneficial for the family. Participants further discussed the importance of PSSN funds in paying for schooling costs. 

Speaker: Valeria Groppo