Cash transfer programme increase school enrolment in low- and middle-income countries

Added April 27, 2020

Citation: Baird S, Ferreira FH, Özler B, et al. Relative effectiveness of conditional and unconditional cash transfers for schooling outcomes in developing countries: a systematic review. Campbell Systematic reviews 2013; 9(1): 1-124

What is this: Many countries are considering or adopting cash transfers to households that are suffering a loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Existing research on the effects of such programmes might inform policies at this time.

In this Campbell Systematic review, the authors searched for comparative effectiveness studies of conditional cash transfer and unconditional cash transfer programmes on education outcomes in low‐ and middle‐income countries. They restricted their searches to articles published since 1997 and did the most recent search in April 2012. They included 35 studies, which had evaluated unconditional cash transfers (5 studies) or conditional cash transfer programmes (26), or had compared the two types of programme (4).

What works: Both conditional and unconditional cash transfer programmes increase school enrolment in low- and middle-income countries compared to no programme.

Cash transfers had a larger effect on school enrolment in low- and middle-income countries if the conditions were strictly monitored and enforced.

Conditional cash transfer programmes may have a greater effect on enrollment and attendance in low- and middle-income countries than unconditional cash transfer programmes.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What’s uncertain: The longer term effects of conditional and unconditional cash transfer programmes are uncertain.

 

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