Unconditional Cash Transfers and Multidimensional Child Poverty

Idrissa Ouili, Université de Montréal
Lucia Ferrone, Università degli Studi di Firenze
Amber Peterman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Sudhanshu Handa, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Gustavo Angeles, National Institute of Public Health (INSP), Mexico and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

With the introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals, there is a renewed interest in reducing child poverty as measured multidimensionally. Social protection are a leading tool to address poverty and vulnerability in low- and middle-income settings, however there is little evidence on their ability to effect multi-dimensional child poverty. We utilize a three-year experimental evaluation of Malawi’s unconditional cash transfer to assess impacts on multi-dimensional poverty using the Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Approach. We find that although the program decreased monetary poverty among children, there were limited impacts on multi-dimensional headcounts. However, cash transfers reduced the intensity of multi-dimensional poverty among the full sample, and showed larger impacts on younger children and boys. In addition, impacts on specific domains like health, nutrition and water deprivations provide promising evidence to encourage further research on potential and constraints of large-scale cash transfer programming to reduce holistic measures of poverty for vulnerable children.

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 96. Evaluation of Cash Transfers Interventions