From Protection to Production
©FAO/Eddie Gerald


The programme

The Malawi Social Cash Transfer Scheme is a cash transfer targeting ultra-poor, labor constrained and high dependency households. It started in 2006 with the objectives of reducing poverty, malnutrition and increasing school enrolment. The average size of the transfer is 14 USD per month and the programme currently covers over 26,000 households.

The evaluation

The evaluation follows a village-level randomized control longitudinal design includes both a quantitative and qualitative component. The quantitative design consists of a cluster-randomized longitudinal study with a baseline survey in June 2013 and a 12-month follow-up survey. The study will be conducted in two TAs each in the districts of Salima and Mangochi and cover approximately 40 village clusters. Half the village clusters will be randomly assigned to a delayed-entry control group after the baseline survey.

Key findings

 Investments in non-farm small businesses were widespread, particularly in well-connected areas;
 Households were able to hire labour for their own farms;
 Social cash transfers represent an important source of income particular for the elderly;
 The Social Cash Transfer programme has reduced negative risk-coping strategies, such as the withdrawal of children from school and absenteeism;
 Education represented a major expenditure;
Beneficiaries have become better integrated into networks.


Journal Articles

Background material