Cash transfers in post-conflict contexts

Briefing papers
November 2009

Providing cash transfers to poor households to alleviate poverty has been popular in many middle-income countries, and is an emerging programme approach for a number of low-income countries. As their popularity grows among donors and governments, much is being learnt about the politics that drive cash transfers, as well as important design and implementation issues.

The evidence informing cash transfer design has to date been drawn largely from stable and peaceful countries. There has been little discussion however about the role of cash transfers in post-conflict or fragile contexts. Are design and implementation issues the same in post-conflict states as in low-income countries? Or are there fundamental differences in the role of cash transfers in helping to reduce poverty and vulnerability amongst the poor in these contexts?

This Project Briefing draws on emerging evidence on the experience of cash transfers in fragile and post-conflict states. It highlights specific examples from two case studies on cash transfers in Sierra Leone and Nepal, countries recovering from ten year civil conflicts. It focuses on three aspects of cash transfers in post-conflict contexts: the lessons of existing cash transfer experiences; how much cash transfers contribute to poverty reduction; and the role of cash transfer programming in the context of new state development and social cohesion in a fragile peace process.

The case studies were part of a three-year study on cash transfers by ODI, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation

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