Decreasing resources and a growing number in extreme poverty as a result of the recent financial crisis will require policymakers to find efficient ways to effectively alleviate poverty.
Recently, there has been an exponential increase in the number and scope of conditional cash transfer (CCT) programmes as a way to provide households with financial resources to meet subsistence needs while encouraging investment in children's human capital.
These programmes have been evaluated extensively, but important questions are outstanding. CCTs have very heterogeneous impacts in different contexts. Understanding how this heterogeneity is explained by institutional factors, the availability of supply-side services and household conditions can help to understand the mechanisms through which CCTs obtain the impacts they do. Without this knowledge, it is difficult to determine the likelihood that CCTs will effectively alleviate poverty in the current economic environment. To answer these questions, this study first involves a review of empirical evidence from pilot programmes, household surveys and evaluations to identify institutional and household variables that have contributed to different impacts.
This study will then involve 5 case studies to analyse these variables in detail, and to investigate the interplay between institutional and household variables, and CCT programme outcomes in specific contexts.