Helpdesk Research Report: Evidence of impact of emergency cash transfers on gender and protection

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Evidence of impact of emergency cash transfers on gender and protection: What is the level and type of evidence on the impact of emergency cash transfers on gender and protection?

Helpdesk response

Key messages: The major trends and gaps in the evidence in this report are:

On the whole, ‘gender’ is used to refer to women. More recent papers include more analysis of how CTs impact men, especially on if they find it disempowering for women to be favoured as beneficiaries.

Gender analysis is not deeply ingrained into emergency CT programme evaluation. Many papers include a short section on gender impacts, but do not use gender as a major category of analysis.

Many evaluations look at how men and women control and use cash differently, and not on the wider gendered impacts of how they use it.

There is still a debate over whether CTs are empowering for women. The general conclusion is that they can be, but there is no overarching approach which facilitates this. The literature is fairly consistent in agreeing that CTs can empower women economically, but this is not rigorously evidenced.

The results from CTs do not appear to be transformative for gender relations. Women tend to be targeted as beneficiaries in their role as household managers and mothers, and are empowered to fulfil these roles more effectively. No study reported significant or long-term change in women’s roles or behaviours.

This report uncovered no studies which looked at the longer-term effects of emergency CTs, more than a few months after the programme ended.

Intra-household effects on gender are given as: reductions in domestic violence; and better relations between spouses and other household members.

Community-level effects on gender are given as: increased social capital; increased ability to contribute financially to community events; and increased social status.

There is little literature in this report which specifically looks at protection and gender. Where this is mentioned, it is mostly in the context of women’s security.