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Cash transfers

Evidence on how cash transfers can reduce poverty has made them the new hot topic in both development and relief circles. Some development agencies have gone so far as to make them the central plank of their social protection strategies.

However, cash transfers are far from a panacea, and new research at ODI drawing on a number of country case studies will examine questions of affordability and sustainabililty, administrative capacity, targeting and conditionality, preconditions and sequences, and the role of cash transfers in progressions from relief to development contexts.

Notable successes have been achieved by targeted and conditional cash transfers in Latin America, which have helped not only in raising and smoothing consumption but also in longer term investments in human capital.

But they raise as many questions as answers: can the kinds of conditionality found in Latin America be adapted to countries having much weaker delivery mechanisms? How far can cash transfers substitute for transfers in kind, and how far do these have to complement each other?

These and other questions drive the new ODI research programme. Working closely with national partners in the collection and analysis of new field evidence from Africa and from Asia, this programme will ask how and how far the design of cash transfer programmes there will have to differ from those in Latin America, and what different outcomes might be expected.

A particular strength of the programme is that it will bring together perspectives from development and humanitarian experience. The programme is funded by a small consortium of interested bilateral donors, and ODI will be working closely with them to explore how approaches to cash transfers can be best harmonised across humanitarian and development departments within their own organisations.

Rachel Slater, Rebecca Holmes, Anna McCord, Jen Morgan
  1. Cash transfers: graduation and growth

    Briefing/policy papers

  2. Cash transfers in post-conflict contexts

    Briefing/policy papers

  3. Cash transfers: affordability and sustainability

    Briefing/policy papers

  4. Cash transfers and political economy in sub-Saharan Africa

    Briefing/policy papers

  5. Cash transfers: lump sums

    Briefing/policy papers

  6. Cash Transfers in post-conflict Nepal

    Research reports

  7. The political economy of cash transfers in Kenya

    Research reports

  8. Lump-Sum Cash Transfers in Developmental and Post-Emergency Contexts

    Research reports

  9. The political economy of cash transfers in Zambia

    Research reports

  10. The political economy of cash transfers in Malawi

    Research reports

  11. Compensation, Welfare and Development: One-off lump-sum and regular transfers in Lesotho Highlands Water Project

    Research reports

  12. Cash transfers in Sierra Leone: Are they appropriate, affordable or feasible?

    Briefing/policy papers

  13. A conceptual framework for understanding the role of cash transfers in social protection

    Briefing/policy papers

  14. Cash Transfers in Sierra Leone: Appropriate, Affordable and Feasible?

    Research reports

  15. Cash Transfers and their role in Social Protection, Inception Report

    Research reports

  16. Cash Transfers in development and relief contexts: A review of recent literature

    Other

  17. Institutional learning and policy change in cash-based programming: Preliminary findings

    Research reports

  18. Targeting approaches to cash transfers: comparisons across Cambodia, India and Ethiopia

    Research reports