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Making Money Work: Unconditional cash transfers allow women to save and re-invest in rural Zambia

Author

Listed:
  • Luisa Natali
  • Sudhanshu Handa
  • Amber Peterman
  • David Seidenfeld
  • Gelson Tembo
  • UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti

Abstract

Savings play a crucial role in faciliating investment in income-generating activities and the pathway out of poverty for low-income households in developing settings. Yet, there is little evidence of successful programmes that increase savings, particularly those that are simultaneously cost effective, scaleable and address gender inequalities. This paper examines the impact of the Government of Zambia’s Child Grant Programme (CGP), an unconditional cash transfer targeted to women in households with young children, on women’s savings and participation in non-farm enterprises.Findings show that the CGP enabled poor women to save more cash and that the impact is larger for women who had lower decision-making power at baseline. The results support the proposition that cash transfers have the potential for long-term sustainable improvements in women’s financial position and household well-being by promoting savings and facilitating productive investments among low-income rural households.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucf:inwopa:inwopa827
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sergii Maksymovych, 2017. "Decision-Making in the Household and Material Deprivation," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp604, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    2. Bonilla, Juan & Zarzur, Rosa Castro & Handa, Sudhanshu & Nowlin, Claire & Peterman, Amber & Ring, Hannah & Seidenfeld, David, 2017. "Cash for Women’s Empowerment? A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of the Government of Zambia’s Child Grant Program," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 55-72.
    3. Etienne Lwamba & Shannon Shisler & Will Ridlehoover & Meital Kupfer & Nkululeko Tshabalala & Promise Nduku & Laurenz Langer & Sean Grant & Ada Sonnenfeld & Daniela Anda & John Eyers & Birte Snilstveit, 2022. "Strengthening women's empowerment and gender equality in fragile contexts towards peaceful and inclusive societies: A systematic review and meta‐analysis," Campbell Systematic Reviews, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 18(1), March.
    4. Handa, Sudhanshu & Natali, Luisa & Seidenfeld, David & Tembo, Gelson & Davis, Benjamin, 2018. "Can unconditional cash transfers raise long-term living standards? Evidence from Zambia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 42-65.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cash transfers; savings; small farms; small scale enterprises; social benefits; women in development; women's empowerment; zambia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O22 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Project Analysis

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