Child outcomes of cash transfer programming: What works and what doesn’t for children in humanitarian and development contexts
Within the context of children’s wellbeing, CTP are a popular means of giving poor people additional financial resources enabling them to invest in their children’s future: the idea is to help families meet their children’s critical needs, develop their children’s human capital, and break up the generational cycle of poverty (STRIVE 2015). In humanitarian situations meeting children’s critical needs is often particularly difficult due increased demand on limited resources, loss of livelihoods and increased poverty, along with possible displacement. As such, cash potentially has an even more substantial role to play to help meet these needs.
Substantial evidence has been generated over the last decade on the effectiveness of cash transfers including its impact for children and from within a variety of contexts including development programmes and humanitarian responses. However, no single work has provided an overall assessment of key outcomes for children in both humanitarian and development contexts without being limited either by the number of indicators reviewed or the socio-political or geographical contexts analysed.
This systematic review attempts to fill this evidence gap by reviewing a comprehensive list of indicators around outcomes for children in health, food security, nutrition, protection, and education. These indicators include both those that indirectly concern children, such as maternal health status, as well as those that directly affect children, such as the child’s health. It also expands the scope to include evidence from both development and humanitarian contexts, generated between 2012 and 2016.
This Research Brief offers a condensed account of the findings and conclusions of the study. Readers interested in examining these aspects in depth, are recommended to refer to the full report. The latter contains a more comprehensive version of the research methods as well as of the findings, bibliographic references and wider implications on the use of cash transfer programming for children’s wellbeing and further research. It also contains the integral version of the study protocol.