Photo credit: Katrina Kosec.
Can a cash transfer program that relies heavily on communities to target beneficiaries, deliver payments, and monitor conditions, improve outcomes for the poor in the same way that more centrally-run conditional cash transfer programs (CCTs) have elsewhere?
That’s the question that the Government of Tanzania asked when it piloted a conditional cash transfer program in three districts beginning in 2010. Before scaling up the transfer program, the government – through the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF), decided to work with the World Bank to test the effectiveness of the program. They identified 80 needy villages and randomly chose which 40 would receive the program first; the other 40 were phased in later. The results were striking: Two and half years into the program, beneficiary households had better health outcomes, better educational outcomes, and more livestock than comparison households. The government is now in the process of scaling up the program to over 900,000 households.
Broadcaster Georges Collinet sat down with me (one of the researchers on the project) and the head of the Tanzania Social Action Fund to discuss the program, the study, and the results in this ten-minute podcast. Take a listen!
You can also read the full research report, read a summary of the research in charts, read a policy brief, or watch a video about the program.