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Assessing the Impact of Cash Transfer Programs on Women's Empowerment in Tanzania

This project will examine how Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) can help poor women overcome economic vulnerabilities, and assess their potential to transform gender relations at home and in the community in Tanzania. The project will generate new evidence on women's economic empowerment to support policies and interventions that improve women's livelihoods. Although the research will be carried out in Tanzania, it is relevant to other developing countries implementing similar cash transfer programs. Cash transfers are emerging in many African countries as a leading social protection initiative aimed at addressing poverty and vulnerability. In Tanzania, the Tanzania Social Action Fund provides financial support to poor and vulnerable people. Conditions attached to the funds include sending children to school and accessing basic health care. Recent evidence suggests that cash transfers can contribute to pro-poor growth by: -serving as an effective risk management tool -supporting human capital development -empowering poor households to lift themselves out of poverty. However, not all programs strategically aim to transform gender relations and economically empower women. This project seeks to better understand the channels through which CCTs empower women in Tanzania to participate in economic growth, and support more positive outcomes for all members of the household. The research team will -analyze the extent to which CCTs enhance women's ability to make decisions on production in agriculture and other income generating activities; -examine how CCTs enhance women's access to productive resources and empower them to make related decisions; -determine if CCTs enhance women's control over how household income is used; -determine to what extent CCTs empower women to take leadership roles and participate in economic activities in the community; and -inform policy and strategies on women's economic roles and development programs. This research is supported under the Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW) program. GrOW is a five-year, multi-funder partnership of the United Kingdom's Department for International Development, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and IDRC. With a focus on low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, GrOW aims to support policies and interventions that improve women's livelihoods and contribute to societal well-being. One component of the program will support 11 projects addressing barriers to women's economic empowerment and gender gaps in earnings and productivity. This project is among them, selected following a competitive call.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
36 months
IDRC Officer
Paul Okwi
Total Funding
CA$ 803,292.00
Employment and Growth
Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women
Institution Country
Project Leader
Flora Myamba
Research on Poverty Alleviation Programme Limited