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

Research reports

Written by John Farrington, Rachel Slater

This paper reviews a range of evidence on the performance of lump-sum transfers to individuals. Transfers to communities or organisations are outside the scope of the paper. A distinction is made between post-emergency and development contexts, and, in the latter, the evidence is considered under the two broad sub-contexts of grants for housing and for the purchase of productive assets. The paper is concerned with questions of whether, compared with small, regular cash transfers, lump-sum transfers require conditions to be attached to the grant; how far such conditions have been met; how far funds have been dissipated across a number of purposes; what supporting measures are required, and whether large grants are more prone to corruption than small, regular ones. Given the limited range of evidence, the conclusions drawn here must be treated as provisional.

John Farrington and Rachel Slater