Social Policy

To alleviate extreme poverty, combat malnutrition, and promote improvements in education and health, countries throughout Africa are experimenting with community-level economic development initiatives, such as “social cash transfers.” In Malawi, the Mchinji Social Cash Transfer is a social protection program that provides direct payments of cash—on average, $13 a month—to families identified as ultra-poor and labor-constrained. The Malawi government and other stakeholders requested a rigorous evaluation of the pilot program’s impact, operations, and targeting process. Researchers from the CGHD and collaborating institutions spent two and a half years evaluating these aspects of the program.