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Case Study

Cash For Work: A Contribution to the International Debate based on Lessons Learnt in Northern Afghanistan

October 2009 — By Paul Harvey, Nicolas Lamade, Dr. Hannelore Börgel

The purpose of this study was to document learning from BMZ finance cash for work (CFW) projects implemented by GTZ in Afghanistan as a contribution to international debates about cash transfer approaches.

The operations of the GTZ CFW scheme in Northern Afghanistan are financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and commenced in 2004. They were ongoing at the time of the report and covered several provinces, directly targeting some 15.000 workers and benefiting an estimated total of 100.000 family members annually.

The evaluation finds that in most cases, projects yielded very positive short and medium-term results and laid the foundation for longer-term structural impacts. Enhanced shorter term welfare gains included improved economic conditions, household food security and the state of health, all generated by the construction of infrastructure facilities.

This document then applies the findings of the evaluation to the wider debate around cash transfers, covering issues such as targeting, setting and adjusting wage levels and monitoring.