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DFID Cash Transfers Literature Review

2011 — By Catherine Arnold, Tim Conway, Matthew Greenslade

This paper provides a synthesis of current global evidence on the impact of cash transfers in developing countries, and of what works in different contexts, or for different development objectives.

Cash transfers are direct, regular and predictable non-contributory cash payments that help poor and vulnerable households to raise and smooth incomes. The term encompasses a range of instruments (e.g. social pensions, child grants or public works programmes) and a spectrum of design, implementation and financing options.

While the primary purpose of cash transfers is to reduce poverty and vulnerability, the evidence shows that they have proven potential to contribute directly or indirectly to a wider range of development outcomes.