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Study Overview

Title:
Malawi's Social Cash Transfer Programme Evaluation
Study is 3ie funded:
No
Study ID:
RIDIE-STUDY-ID-56be2709ebb2d
Initial Registration Date:
02/12/2016
Last Update Date:
01/25/2017
Study Status:
Ongoing
Location(s):
Malawi
Abstract:
This study is an impact evaluation of a social cash transfer programme implemented by the Government of Malawi. The study is conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) in collaboration with the Centre for Social Research at the University of Malawi (CSR) and the UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti. The Malawi Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP) targets poor, labor constrained households in 18 districts for unconditional cash transfers, with evaluation being conducted in Salima and Mangochi districts. The impact evaluation aims to understand the extent to which the SCTP can reduce household poverty and vulnerability, with a focus on children’s health and nutrition status. The study is designed as a randomized control trial (RCT), with half of the village clusters from the evaluation sample randomly selected to receive the transfer, and the other half assigned to delayed entry, serving as the control group over the course of the evaluation. Approximately 3,500 households are being followed over three years, with three rounds of quantitative data collection, including baseline (2013), midline (2014), and endline (2015).
Change History for Abstract
Changed On Previous Value
01/25/2017 This study is an impact evaluation of a social cash transfer programme implemented by the Government of Malawi. The study is conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) in collaboration with the Centre for Social Research at the University of Malawi (CSR) and the UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti. The Malawi Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP) targets poor, labor constrained households in selected communities in two districts (Salima and Mangochi) for unconditional cash transfers. The impact evaluation aims to understand the extent to which the SCTP can reduce household poverty and vulnerability, with a focus on children’s health and nutrition status. The study is designed as a randomized control trial (RCT), with half of the village clusters from the sample randomly selected to receive the transfer, and the other half assigned to delayed entry, serving as the control group over the course of the evaluation. Approximately 3,500 households are being followed over three years, with three rounds of quantitative data collection, including baseline (2013), midline (2014), and endline (2015).
Categories:
Education
Health, Nutrition, and Population
Social Protection
Water and Sanitation
Additional Keywords:
Unconditional cash transfer, social protection, nutritional status, food security, resilience, adolescent transitions
Secondary ID Number(s):

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Sudanshu Handa and Gustavo Angeles
Affiliation:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Name of Second PI:
Peter Mvula and Maxton Tsoka
Affiliation:
Centre for Social Research at the University of Malawi

Study Sponsor

Name:
UNICEF Malawi, European Union, German Government through KfW, Irish Aid, FAO, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), and the United States Department of Labor
Study Sponsor Location:
Malawi

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
Centre for Social Research - University of Malawi
Type of Organization:
Research institute/University
Location:
Malawi
Intervention

Intervention Overview

Intervention:
The SCTP, operated by the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare (MoGCDSW) with policy oversight provided by the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development (MoFEPD) and technical assistance from UNICEF Malawi. The SCTP is an unconditional transfer targeted to ultra-poor and labor-constrained households. The programme began as a pilot in 2006 in Mchinji District. Since 2009, the programme has expanded to reach 18 out of 28 districts in Malawi. The programme has experienced impressive growth beginning in 2012, and most notably in the last 12 months. By March 2015, the SCTP had reached over 150,000 beneficiary households, and had gone to full scale in 10 districts. Transfer amounts at baseline vary by household size and number of children enrolled in school, ranging from 1,000-6,000 Malawi kwacha (USD $2 – 6) per household monthly, approximately 17% of baseline household consumption (transfer sizes were subsequently adjusted up to account for inflation).
Change History for Intervention
Changed On Previous Value
01/25/2017 The SCTP, operated by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Community Development (MoGCCD) with policy oversight provided by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development (MoEPD) and technical assistance from UNICEF Malawi. The SCTP is an unconditional transfer targeted to ultra-poor and labor-constrained households. The programme began as a pilot in 2006 in Mchinji District. Since 2009, the programme has expanded to reach 18 out of 28 districts in Malawi. The programme has experienced impressive growth beginning in 2012, and most notably in the last 12 months. By March 2015, the SCTP had reached over 100,000 beneficiary households, and had gone to full scale in 10 districts. Transfer amounts vary by household size and number of children enrolled in school, ranging from 1,000-6,000 Malawi kwacha (USD $2 – 6) per household monthly, approximately 17% of baseline household consumption.
Theory of Change:
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?
No

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare (MoGCDSW)
Change History for Name of Organization
Changed On Previous Value
01/25/2017 The Government of Malawi, Ministry of Gender, Children and Community Development (MoGCCD)
Type of Organization:
Public Sector, e.g. Government Agency or Ministry

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
KfW, Irish Aid, European Union, World Bank, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GF)
Type of Organization:
Foreign or Multilateral Aid Agency

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
Yes
Start Date:
09/03/2012
End Date:
Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Randomized control trial
Other (not Listed) Method:
Additional Evaluation Method (If Any):
Difference in difference/fixed effects
Other (not Listed) Method:

Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:
The SCTP impact evaluation utilizes a cluster randomized design with village clusters (VCs) as the unit of randomization. The MoGCDSW decided to implement a randomly assigned delayed control group due to lack of sufficient resources and capacity to cover all eligible households immediately. This study includes several levels of random selection, including communities within districts and households within communities. The final study sample size for the evaluation was more than 3,500 households. Baseline data collection was conducted in June-Sept 2013. Follow-up data collection occurred 17 months and 30 months after baseline data were collected. Random assignment occurred after baseline data collection was complete. Quantitative household surveys were administered to the potential recipient at each round, in addition to community surveys, which were administered to community leaders. The study also includes a longitudinal imbedded qualitative cohort consisting of in-depth interviews with youth (aged 13-19 at baseline) and caregivers.
Change History for Details of Evaluation Approach
Changed On Previous Value
01/25/2017 The SCTP impact evaluation utilizes a cluster randomized design with village clusters (VCs) as the unit of randomization. The MoGCCD decided to implement a randomly assigned delayed control group because it did not have sufficient resources or capacity to deliver the program to all eligible households immediately. This study includes several levels of random selection, including communities within districts and households within communities. The final study sample size for the evaluation was more than 3,500 households. Baseline data collection was conducted in June-Sept 2013. Follow-up data collection occurred 17 months and 30 months after baseline data were collected. Random assignment occurred after baseline data collection was complete. Quantitative household surveys were administered to the potential recipient at each round, in addition to community surveys, which were administered to community leaders.
Outcomes (Endpoints):
The quantitative survey instrument was based on the program’s theory of change and measured key outcome and impact indicators (e.g. anthropometry) as well as intermediate outcomes, those that lie along the causal pathway (e.g. food consumption and diet diversity). Key outcome indicators: Nutrition outcomes (stunting, wasting, underweight), Nutrition and health inputs (preventive and curative care services, and diet diversity), Health outcomes (morbidity), Household consumption and food consumption, Education outcomes (attendance, enrollment, time use), Safe transitions to adulthood for youth. Intermediate outcomes and potential modifiers: Productive livelihoods, Caregiving practices, Stress and social support, Women’s agency and time use.
Unit of Analysis:
Households, children, cash transfer recipients
Hypotheses:
1. SCTP will increase food security, diet diversity and expenditures of treatment households. 2. SCTP will supplement and not replace household income 3. SCTP will improve child nutrition and anthropometric outcomes. 4. SCTP will have a positive impact on children’s health outcomes 5. SCTP will increase the number of children enrolled in and attending primary school 6. SCTP will have a positive impact on the safe transition into adulthood for adolescents 7. SCTP will improve the health and well-being of caregivers.
Change History for Hypotheses
Changed On Previous Value
01/25/2017 1. SCTP will increase food security, diet diversity and expenditures of treatment households. 2. SCTP will supplement and not replace household income 3. SCTP will improve child nutrition and anthropometric outcomes. 4. SCTP will have a positive impact on children’s health outcomes 5. SCTP will increase the number of children enrolled in and attending primary school 6. SCTP will have a positive impact on the safe transition into adulthood for adolescents 7. SCTP will improve the health and well-being of caregivers
Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
Communities
Number of Clusters in Sample:
29 village clusters
Number of Individuals in Sample:
3,500 households
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
Treatment: 1650, Control: 1850

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
Other Documents:
: Malawi-SCTP-Baseline-Report.pdf
: Malawi-SCTP-Midline-Report.pdf
Data

Outcomes Data

Description:
Household survey includes: Roster, Education, Health, Labor, Non-farm enterprises, Credit, Reproductive health, Child health, Child nutrition and feeding, Housing conditions, Assets, Consumption, Access to facilities, Subjective well-being, Poverty, Food security, Shocks, Agricultural production, Operational Performance, Anthropometry, Youth mental health, aspirations, preferences and sexual behavior. 58 community surveys were administered to assess availability of services in the community.
Data Already Collected?
Yes
Data Previously Used?
Yes
Data Access:
Restricted -- Access requires a formal approval process
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Prior to data collection the study was submitted to UNC’s internal IRB as well as the Malawi National Commission for Science and Technology, National Committee for Research in Social Sciences and Humanities. These applications ensure that the project complies with government requirements related to: (1) human subject research, and (2) the confidentiality and integrity of personally identifiable information (PII). The study was initially approved prior to baseline data collection in June 2013.
Approval Status:
Yes-obtained approval and have received the data

Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
Yes
Description:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Data Analysis

Data Analysis Status:
Yes

Study Materials

Upload Study Materials:
: https://transfer.cpc.unc.edu/?page_id=875

Registration Category

Registration Category:
Non-Prospective, Category 4: Data for measuring impacts have been obtained/collected by the research team and analysis for this evaluation has started
Completion

Completion Overview

Intervention Completion Date:
Data Collection Completion Date:
Unit of Analysis:
Clusters in Final Sample:
Total Observations in Final Sample:
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:

Findings

Preliminary Report:
Preliminary Report URL:
Summary of Findings:
Paper:
Paper Summary:
Paper Citation:

Data Availability

Data Availability (Primary Data):
Date of Data Availability:
Data URL or Contact:
Access procedure:

Other Materials

Survey:
Survey Instrument Links or Contact:
Program Files:
Program Files Links or Contact:
External Link:
External Link Description:
Description of Changes:

Study Stopped

Date:
Reason: