Changing policy design of cash transfer programmes internationally
The Department for International Development commissioned Transforming Cash Transfers research, directed by Professor Maxine Molyneux, which benefitted over two million households in five countries.
28 April 2022
Professor Maxine Molyneux (UCL Institute of the Americas) is an internationally recognised expert on gender inequality, who has combined an academic career with a dedication to policy development in the Global South for more than 40 years.
Transforming Cash Transfers (TCT, directed by Professor Molyneux) provided robust evidence from the perspective of beneficiaries and their communities that was essential for improving the effectiveness of Cash Transfer (CT) programmes – the favoured means of tackling poverty reduction (which has been a global development policy goal since the early 2000s).
The effects of the report
The TCT reports informed DFID’s perspective on Yemen’s Social Welfare Fund (with their recognition ‘it was an important institution to help strengthen’), and shaped DFID’s social protection strategy in Mozambique, which benefitted about 1.8 million people beyond the initial programme by changing the basis of targeting from households to vulnerable groups such as women and the disabled.
Since August 2013, DFID field and HQ staff have used the reports to brief and advise Ministries responsible for cash transfer programmes (CTPs) in the 5 field site countries (Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya, Yemen, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories) as well as beyond.
The TCT project has informed UK social protection programming and established criteria for good practice. DFID and other agencies have adopted its methodology, particularly the focus on targeted individual transfers and evaluation, leading to changes in programme design to ensure better targeting of, and accountability to beneficiaries.
The TCT evidence base and methodology was used by UN agencies in their recommendations to government policymakers and evaluation of the design of social protection programmes. UNICEF drew upon the TCT research design and the innovative methodology in their evaluation design for their Transfer Project, which provides evidence on large-scale unconditional CTPs in more than 12 African countries.
As a result of her leadership of the TCT project, Professor Molyneux was invited to help shape the UN Women’s 2015/2016 Progress of the World’s Women (POWW) report.
The Head of DFID’s Social Protection Unit confirmed the “research findings and approach informed internal DFID discussions on social protection design and implementation, as well as with governments, and impacted on programmes and subsequent research”.
Changing policy design of cash transfer programmes in UK government, international non-governmental organisations and development consultancies.
The Department for International Development (DFID) commissioned Transforming Cash Transfers (TCT) research, directed by Professor Maxine Molyneux, to investigate five cash transfer programmes in the Middle East and Africa. The results informed a key strand of DFID’s development assistance and the changes introduced to programming benefitted over two million households in five countries (Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya, Yemen, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories).
- Professor Maxine Molyneux's academic profile
- UCL Institute of the Americas
- UCL Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences
- UCL Social & Historical Sciences REF 2021
- Image credit: iStock / agcuesta