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Cash 101: Cash and Voucher Assistance Explained

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Examining Differences in the Effectiveness and Impacts of Vouchers and Unconditional Cash Transfers

2012 — By Jenny Aker

The objective of this study is to examine the differences in the effectiveness and impacts of vouchers versus unconditional cash transfers in the Bushani camp of the Masisi territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo. As part of this research, the study team collected household data from over 230 households in the Bushani camp in September 2011 (before the start of the program), November 2011 (after the first two cash and voucher distributions) and March 2012 (after the last cash and voucher distribution). Households within the camp were randomly assigned to one of two interventions, namely, an unconditional cash transfer or a voucher (a coupon that allowed households to purchase food and non-food items for a fixed value on a voucher fair). Both interventions were worth USD $130. In light of the extreme vulnerability of all households in the camp, there was no pure comparison group (a group of households that received neither intervention).


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