Name: Assessment of the Zambia Social Protection Expansion Programme
Year: 2011
Client: The Netherlands Embassy
Country: Zambia
Background: From 2003, to-date, the MCDSS has piloted five different types of social transfers to assess the feasibility of implementing social cash transfers under the following contexts:

  • Cash transfer in rural setting and achieving district scale (Kalomo District);
  • Universal social pension in rural setting (Katete District);
  • Cash transfer in urban setting (Chipata District);
  • Cash transfer in sparsely populated rural setting (Kazungula District);
  • Cash transfer testing soft-conditionality in education and health in a rural setting (Monze District); and
  • Universal child grant in rural setting (Kalavo, Shangombo, and Kaputo Districts).

Government has endorsed plans to scale up the pilot programme from five districts to 15 districts by 2015. The plan is to increase reach from 20,000 to 69,000 households. The scale up plan has already begun in 2010 with a total funding requirement of USD 84,458,000 of which 71% will meet the cash transfer itself and the balance will meet other direct operational costs.

Objectives: Being keen to explore options of providing additional financial and technical support to Zambia’s Social Protection Expansion Programme, the Netherlands Embassy commissioned this assessment to establish whether there exists a clear added value for such additional support.

The specific terms of reference of the study were to:

  • Assess the results of the GTZ Katete pilot and other social protection programmes in Zambia;
  • Assess the installed capacity of GRZ ministries and outsourced agencies to manage, implement and render account of the programmes efficiently, effectively, transparently and accountably;
  • Advise on the contents of the envisaged programme, including livelihood improvement and the role of cash transfers;
  • Advise on possible alternative implementation mechanisms/agencies;
  • Assess the functioning of the M&E System;
  • Establish the income, health and educational benefits for the beneficiaries;
  • Identify possible (economic and/or political) perverse elements in design and implementation of the programme;
  • Assess the political and financial sustainability of the programme;
  • Assess the fiduciary risks of the programme, including a proposal of actions/measures to be taken; and
  • Form an opinion about the Netherlands possible value added to the programme; i.e., is there scope for additional financial and /or technical support, with a special view to support HIV / AIDS affected beneficiaries (see Annex 1).
Activities: The evaluation involved a desk study drawing evidence from relevant literature which was provided by GRZ, the Netherlands Embassy, DFID and UNICEF. This information was complemented by a field visit to Lusaka and 3 other districts during which where the consultant interviewed (i) key informants in government (e.g., the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services and the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Development), (ii) development partner agencies that are either already supporting or planning to support social support interventions (DFID, Irish Aid, Finland, and UNICEF) and (iii) stakeholders at the district and community level in Katete, Chipata and Kitwe.
Special Recognition: Letter of appreciation from The Netherlands Embassy downloadable link.