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Evaluations - Conditional Cash Transfers




Cash transfers are a popular strategy for reducing poverty and improving health and education outcomes in poor communities. The idea is simple – money is provided to households either without any stipulations, known as an unconditional cash transfer, or under specific behavioral conditions, known as a conditional cash transfer. Conditions usually include such things as requiring families to bring children in for regular health check-ups, enrolling children in school or, in the case of adults, testing negative for sexually-transmitted infections. The portfolio in the trust fund supported by Spain, known as SIEF 1, included evaluations that specifically looked at the impact of conditional cash transfers. 




Chile: Can subsidies and social workers make a difference for the poorest?

  • Timeline: Completed (Funded under SIEF1)
  • Evaluation: SIEF researchers sought to measure the impact of the Government of Chile’s targeted poverty reduction program known as Chile Solidario. The program, which began its roll out in 2002 with World Bank support, twins regular visits from social workers over two years with better coordinated supply of social services and a small cash transfer to encourage the poorest households to take up benefits for which they are eligible.  In the medium term, for those enrolled in the program between 2002 and 2006, there was an increased take-up of subsidies for the indigent, including those with children, the disabled and the elderly. The program also raised enrollment in housing and employment programs, among other services. However, in a later follow-up of those enrolled in that period, researchers found no evidence of short- or long-term effects on employment or housing. For futher information, see our Chile page.


Indonesia: Can communities come up with their own ways to improve health and education?

  • Timeline: Completed (Funded under SIEF1)
  • Evaluation: Indonesia, a middle-income country, has had difficulty providing universal access to education and adequate access to healthcare, particularly in poor and rural areas. To tackle these problems, the Government of Indonesia, with World Bank assistance, launched a large-scale program in 2007 that gave communities a block grant to rural villages to use to improve use and quality of health and education services. To encourage communities to focus on the most effective policies, a portion of the next year’s grant was based on how well communities did in meeting the previous year's health and education targets. A SIEF supported evaluation measured the impact of the program, including whether linking the grant to the previous year’s performance outcomes made a difference. For more information, see our Indonesia Impact page.

Tanzania: Can cash transfers make a difference for better health and education?

  • Timeline: Completed (Funded under SIEF1)
  • Evaluation: In 2000, the Government of Tanzania, with support from the World Bank, created the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) as part of a broader strategy to reduce poverty by stimulating local economies. Among other activities, TASAF has funded community-run projects to build health clinics and schools, giving communities experience managing funds, hiring contractors, and monitoring projects. In 2010, the national government rolled out the conditional cash transfer program via TASAF, piloting it in three of the country’s poorest districts. SIEF supported researchers evaluated the impact of the program on beneficiaries.