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Study Overview

Impact Evaluation of a Tanzanian Conditional Cash Transfer (TASAF III/PSSN) on Youth Well-being and the Transition to Adulthood
Study is 3ie funded:
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Initial Registration Date:
Last Update Date:
Study Status:
Change History for Status
Changed On Previous Value
08/27/2018 Ongoing

The evaluation is an 18-month, mixed methods longitudinal study, combining quantitative surveys with qualitative interviews, to provide evidence on the effects that the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF)’s Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN) programme has on youth wellbeing and transition to adulthood. Outcomes include schooling, mental health, risk behaviors, and violence. The study utilizes a cluster sample design, whereby clusters (villages) were randomized to one of three study arms (two treatments and one control). This Youth Well-being study is being implemented within a larger study, led by Policy Research for Development (REPOA), which measures the impacts of the PSSN on women’s empowerment. There are 102 villages in the REPOA women’s empowerment study, with 35 Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) only treatment villages, 26 CCT plus Public Works Program (PWP) treatment villages, and 41 control villages (delayed entry after 18 months). The youth study is nested within the REPOA empowerment study, targeting only youth aged 14-28 interviewed from the REPOA sample in 84 mainland villages. Both evaluations look at impacts of the PSSN, but the outcomes and samples differ.

Registration Citation:

Palermo, T. and Myamba, F., 2016. Impact Evaluation of a Tanzanian Conditional Cash Transfer (TASAF III/PSSN) on Youth Well-being and the Transition to Adulthood. Registry for International Development for Impact Evaluations (RIDIE). Available at: 10.23846/ridie098

Health, Nutrition, and Population
Information and Communications Technology
Social Protection
Additional Keywords:
Conditional cash transfer, adolescents, adolescent mental health, risky sexual behaviors, violence against children
Secondary ID Number(s):

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Tia Palermo
UNICEF office of Research- Innocenti
Name of Second PI:
Flora Myamba

Study Sponsor

UNICEF Tanzania
Study Sponsor Location:

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
Type of Organization:
Research institute/University

Intervention Overview


Objectives of the PSSN are to increase income and consumption, improve vulnerable populations’ ability to cope with shocks, invest in human capital, and increase access to social services. To accomplish these goals, there are three components: 1) a fixed unconditional cash transfer (UCT) paired with a variable CCT, 2) a PWP component, and 3) a LE component. For the CCT, participating households are required to comply with conditions related to children’s schooling and health care to receive payments. The PWP or ‘cash-for-work’ component aims to provide a predictable income for one able-bodied adult per household for up to 60 days during the lean season. The LE component aims to enhance households’ income generating capacity by providing basic trainings that help them access existing productive opportunities. The CCT was rolled out in our study areas fall of 2015. The PWP is expected to roll out by the end of 2016. The LE is still in development and dates are not finalized but will be implemented along with PWP. The programme utilizes a three-stage targeting process to select beneficiaries, including geographical targeting, community-based targeting, and a proxy-means test (PMT).

Private Intervention Details:
Theory of Change:
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF)
Type of Organization:
Public Sector, e.g. Government Agency or Ministry

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
Government of Tanzania
Type of Organization:
Public Sector, e.g. Government Agency or Ministry

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
Start Date:
End Date:
Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

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

Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:

The Youth Well-being Study aimed to interview all households in the Women’s Empowerment Study living on the mainland (excluding Zanzibar) with household members between the ages of 14 and 28 years at baseline. Baseline data collection was conducted in August-September 2015. Follow up data collection is planned for early 2017. The youth study sample consists of 1,357 youth. Additionally, the qualitative study sample consists of 16 youth who were administered in-depth interviews. After follow-up data has been collected, we will analyse programme impacts by comparing baseline data to data collected at follow-up using a difference-in-differences (DD) approach. Data from the control group allows us to identify which impacts over time are attributable to the PSSN programme, controlling for outside influences and trends over time. This is done by taking the overall changes experienced by the beneficiaries and subtracting the changes also experienced by control households. Due to delays in program implementation, impacts may only be measured on the pooled treatment arms, and later we will look at CCT only compared to CCT plus PWP arms separately.

Private Details of Evaluation Approach:
Outcomes (Endpoints):

The quantitative survey instrument was based on the program’s theory of change and measured key outcome and impact indicators (e.g. risky sexual behavior) as well as intermediate outcomes, those that lie along the causal pathway (e.g. time usage). Key outcome indicators: - Schooling and productive activities - Marriage and pregnancy - Mental health - Sexual debut - Experiences of violence - Transactional sex - Contraceptive use Intermediate outcomes and potential modifiers: - Stress and social support

Unit of Analysis:
Households, youth

1. We hypothesize that he programme will delay sexual debut, marriage, and/or pregnancy. 2. We hypothesize that the programme will improve youth mental health, by decreasing youth who report having depressive symptoms. 3. We hypothesize that the programme will increase youth schooling attendance and enrolment among school aged children, and decrease dropout rates in secondary school. 4. We hypothesize that the programme will reduce risky sexual behaviors, such as participating in transactional sex acts, having concurrent sexual relationships, and practicing unsafe sex. 5. We hypothesize that the programme will reduce instances of physical and sexual violence experienced by youth.

Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
Number of Clusters in Sample:
Number of Individuals in Sample:
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
Treatment 1 (CCT only): 406 Treatment 2 (CCT plus PWP): 353 Control: 598

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
Other Documents:

Outcomes Data

Baseline data were collected on the main outcomes using a youth survey. Key modules included: schooling and aspirations; mental health; sexual behavior; attitudes, risk and support; physical violence. In addition a community survey was conducted to gain information on a number of community level characteristics, including access to services, social norms, and local prices. A quantitative survey will also be implemented in 2017 to measure these same outcomes and additional items on stress.
Data Already Collected?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
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:

Study Materials

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Registration Category

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

Completion Overview

Intervention Completion Date:
Data Collection Completion Date:
Unit of Analysis:
The evaluation focuses on impacts among young people aged 14-28, living in eight mainland districts of Tanzania (Misungwi, Kahama, Kilosa, Kisarawe, Handeni, Mbogwe, Itilima and Uyui).
Clusters in Final Sample:
Total Observations in Final Sample:
1003 panel youth (those interviewed at baseline and endline) were used for the main analysis.
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
565 treatment; 438 control


Preliminary Report:
Preliminary Report URL:
Summary of Findings:

The PSSN had substantial impacts on children’s schooling and time use. PSSN resulted in an increase in participation in livestock herding for the household. We do not observe an increase in school attendance or education outcomes among youth (aged 14–28 years at baseline). The PSSN has increased measures of material well-being, including ownership of blankets and shoes, particularly for females. There appear to be few quantitative impacts across a range of mental and physical well-being outcomes, including depressive symptoms, hope, stress, social support and self-rated health. The PSSN has increased some measures of subjective well-being and aspirations. The programme appears to have increased contraceptive knowledge among females (but not males); however, it had no impacts on contraceptive use. There were no impacts on fertility, which supports existing evidence from the region underscoring that cash transfer programmes do not increase fertility. There is no evidence that the PSSN affected sexual behaviour according to the quantitative data. The PSSN had no impacts on experiences of emotional, physical or sexual violence experienced by females.

Paper Summary:
Paper Citation:

Data Availability

Data Availability (Primary Data):
Yes--Available in the future
Date of Data Availability:
Data URL or Contact:
Access procedure:

Other Materials

Survey Instrument Links or Contact:
Will be uploaded here:
Program Files:
Program Files Links or Contact:
External Link:
External Link Description:
Description of Changes:

Study Stopped