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Richer but Resented: What do cash transfers do to social relations and does it matter?

2011 — By Ian MacAuslan, Nils Riemenschneider

This paper looks at how social protection cash transfers are evaluated primarily in terms of poverty reduction or human capital, with their impact on social relations being under-examined.

The authors examine case studies from Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe, and argue that the impact of cash transfers on social relations is large, often positive but in some cases negative.  From the evidence presented, they argue that donors should engage more with domestic political groups in designing and implementing pilot projects, and should focus more on social relations in their evaluation designs.