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Cash for Women’s Empowerment? A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of the Government of Zambia’s Child Grant Programme

Author

Listed:
  • Juan Bonilla
  • Rosa Castro Zarzur
  • Sudhanshu Handa
  • Claire Nowlin
  • Amber Peterman
  • Hannah Ring
  • David Seidenfeld

Abstract

This paper reports findings from a mixed-methods evaluation of the Government of Zambia’s Child Grant Programme, a poverty-targeted, unconditional transfer given to mothers or primary caregivers of young children aged 0 to 5. Qualitatively, we found that changes in intrahousehold relationships were limited by entrenched gender norms, which indicate men as heads of household and primary decision-makers. However, women’s narratives showed the transfer did increase overall household well-being because they felt increased financial empowerment and were able to retain control over transfers for household investment and savings for emergencies. The study found that women in beneficiary households were making more sole and joint decisions, although impacts translated into relatively modest increases.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Bonilla & Rosa Castro Zarzur & Sudhanshu Handa & Claire Nowlin & Amber Peterman & Hannah Ring & David Seidenfeld, 2016. "Cash for Women’s Empowerment? A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of the Government of Zambia’s Child Grant Programme," Papers inwopa796, Innocenti Working Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucf:inwopa:inwopa796
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ingvild Almås & Alex Armand & Orazio Attanasio & Pedro Carneiro, 2018. "Measuring and Changing Control: Women's Empowerment and Targeted Transfers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(612), pages 609-639, July.
    2. Doss, Cheryl, 2013. "Intrahousehold bargaining and resource allocation in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6337, The World Bank.
    3. Anderson, C. Leigh & Reynolds, Travis W. & Gugerty, Mary Kay, 2017. "Husband and Wife Perspectives on Farm Household Decision-making Authority and Evidence on Intra-household Accord in Rural Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 169-183.
    4. Cheryl Doss, 2013. "Intrahousehold Bargaining and Resource Allocation in Developing Countries-super-1," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 28(1), pages 52-78, February.
    5. Mumtaz, Zubia & Salway, Sarah, 2009. "Understanding gendered influences on women's reproductive health in Pakistan: Moving beyond the autonomy paradigm," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 1349-1356, April.
    6. Peterman, Amber & Schwab, Benjamin & Roy, Shalini & Hidrobo, Melissa & Gilligan, Daniel, 2015. "Measuring women’s decisionmaking: Indicator choice and survey design experiments from cash and food transfer evaluations in Ecuador, Uganda, and Yemen:," IFPRI discussion papers 1453, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. David S. Lee, 2009. "Training, Wages, and Sample Selection: Estimating Sharp Bounds on Treatment Effects," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1071-1102.
    8. Sylvia Chant, 2008. "The 'Feminisation of Poverty' and the 'Feminisation' of Anti-Poverty Programmes: Room for Revision?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(2), pages 165-197.
    9. Luisa Natali & Sudhanshu Handa & Amber Peterman & David Seidenfeld & Gelson Tembo & UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti, 2016. "Making Money Work: Unconditional cash transfers allow women to save and re-invest in rural Zambia," Papers inwopa827, Innocenti Working Papers.
    10. McKenzie, David, 2012. "Beyond baseline and follow-up: The case for more T in experiments," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 210-221.
    11. World Bank, 2015. "The State of Social Safety Nets 2015," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 22101.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bergolo, Marcelo & Galván, Estefanía, 2018. "Intra-household Behavioral Responses to Cash Transfer Programs. Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 100-118.
    2. Sudhanshu Handa & Silvio Daidone & Amber Peterman & Benjamin Davis & Audrey Pereira & Tia Palermo & Jennifer Yablonski, 2018. "Myth-Busting? Confronting Six Common Perceptions about Unconditional Cash Transfers as a Poverty Reduction Strategy in Africa," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 33(2), pages 259-298.
    3. Seymour, Greg & Peterman, Amber, 2018. "Context and measurement: An analysis of the relationship between intrahousehold decision making and autonomy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 97-112.
    4. Fouksman, E. & Klein, E., 2019. "Radical transformation or technological intervention? Two paths for universal basic income," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 492-500.
    5. Chloé van Biljon & Dieter von Fintel & Atika Pasha, 2018. "Bargaining to work: the effect of female autonomy on female labour supply," Working Papers 04/2018, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cash transfers; decision making; household income; women's empowerment;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior

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