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Study Overview

Impact Evaluation of Egypt's National Cash Transfer Programme, Takaful
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01/28/2022 In Development

We will study the impacts of Egypt's national conditional cash transfer programme, Takaful, implemented by Egypt's Ministry of Social Solidarity (MoSS). While all households can apply, the transfers are targeted at the poor and ultra-poor population across all governorates in Egypt using a proxy means test (PMT) score assessment, and those who score below a certain threshold (4500 points) are entered into the program. Consequently, we will use a regression discontinuity design (RDD) to compare households whose PMT score was just above the threshold and did not receive the program to those just above the threshold. We will estimate the causal impacts of the programme on household consumption, assets, savings, credit, and investments; labour market outcomes; school enrollment and expenditures; shocks and coping mechanisms; health care utilization and illness; dietary quality and diversity; and Covid-19.

A separate paper will estimate the causal impacts of the programme on worry and anxiety using the RDD framework. Randomly selected respondents will also be exposed to a "stressor" to increase their short-term anxiety, which will be used to identify the impacts of anxiety on self-esteem, time preferences, risk preferences, ambiguity preferences, and cognition. Transfer recipients and non-recipients who did/did not receive the "stressor" will be compared to assess whether the transfers reduced the likelihood that worry and anxiety negatively affected self-esteem, preferences, and cognition.

Registration Citation:
Health, Nutrition, and Population
Social Protection
Additional Keywords:
Cash transfers, poverty, mental health, preferences
Secondary ID Number(s):

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Naureen Karachiwalla
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Name of Second PI:
Daniel Gilligan, Sikandra Kurdi, Hoda El Enbaby
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Study Sponsor

USAID and World Bank
Study Sponsor Location:
United States

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
Ministry of Social Solidarity (MoSS), Government of Egypt
Type of Organization:
Government agency (eg., statistics office, Ministry of Health)

Intervention Overview


As part of a series of economic reforms that began in 2014, the Government of Egypt initiated a social protection scheme in 2015 involving targeted cash transfers to poor households called the Takaful (Solidarity) program. Takaful is implemented by the Ministry of Social Solidarity (MoSS) and co-financed by the Government of Egypt and the World Bank. The programme is designed as a conditional cash transfer program that provides income support to poor families with children under 18 years of age.

Transfers under Takaful start with a basic amount of EGP 325 per household per month, which increases depending on the number of children in the households and their education level. Households receive EGP 60 for each child under 6 years old, EGP 80 for each child n primary education, EGP 100 for children in preparatory education, and EGP 140 for secondary education. Households can receive benefits for up to three children only, who are usually the oldest three children in the households. Cash transfers are conditioned on the attendance of at least 80 percent of the school days by children aged 6–18 years, and on conducting two visits per year to the health clinics by mothers and children below 6 years; in addition to maintaining child growth monitoring records, and attending nutrition awareness sessions.

The program was targeted using a combination of geographical targeting and application of a Proxy Means Test (PMT), an index of well-being based on household demographics, income, housing quality, assets, and other characteristics. In poor districts, potentially eligible households were registered and interviewed to collect information for the PMT. Households with a PMT score below a preset threshold were considered eligible for the program and would begin receiving transfers.

Theory of Change:

These conditional cash transfers should increase income, which should then increase consumption and investment in physical (productive assets) and human capital (health and education).

The transfers should also reduce worry and anxiety, improve self-esteem and cognition, and make people more patient, less risk- and ambiguity-averse.

Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
Ministry of Social Solidarity (MoSS), Government of Egypt
Type of Organization:
Public Sector, e.g. Government Agency or Ministry

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
USAID and World Bank
Type of Organization:
Foreign or Multilateral Aid Agency

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
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Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Regression discontinuity
Other (not Listed) Method:
Additional Evaluation Method (If Any):
Randomized control trial
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Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:

Since eligibility for the program is determined by a continuous score (a proxy means test score) being below a particular threshold (4500 points), we will estimate the causal impacts of the programme on the outcomes of interest using a regression discontinuity (RD) design. We will use a bandwidth of 65 points above and below the threshold as this is the minimum threshold at which we can sample and survey enough households to obtain our desired minimum detectable effect (MDE) sizes.

The second paper will also use RD to estimate the causal impacts on worry and anxiety. Subsequently, households randomized into receiving a "stressor" to induce short-term anxiety will be compared with those who were not, as well as those who did and did not receive the transfers, to determine whether additional stress affects cognition, self-esteem, and risk, time, and ambiguity preferences. Essentially the RD will be employed in two sub-samples (received/did not receive the stressor) and coefficients will be compared across groups. 

Outcomes (Endpoints):

First paper primary outcomes: consumption, assets, investments, savings. Secondary outcomes: education, health care utilization, illness.

Second paper: worry, anxiety, self-esteem, cognition, risk-aversion, ambiguity-aversion, and time preferences.

Change History for Outcomes (Endpoints)
Changed On Previous Value

First paper: consumption, assets, investments, savings, education, health care utilization, illness.

Second paper: worry, anxiety, self-esteem, cognition, risk-aversion, ambiguity-aversion, and time preferences.

Unit of Analysis:

First paper: cash transfers increase consumption, assets, investments, savings, education, and health care utilization, and reduce illness.

Second paper: cash transfers reduce worry and anxiety. Stress reduces self-esteem and cognition, increases risk-aversion and ambiguity-aversion, and reduces patience. Cash transfers reduce these negative effects of stress.

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Supplementary Files

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Outcomes Data

Household survey and community key-informant survey.
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Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
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Data Analysis

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Study Materials

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Registration Category

Registration Category:
Prospective, Category 1: Data for measuring impacts have not been collected

Completion Overview

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Preliminary Report:
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Data Availability

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Other Materials

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Study Stopped