Name: Lesson Learning Research for the Strengthening Social Cash Transfer Project Through Linking and Learning
Year: 2012
Country: Malawi
Background: The Government of Malawi with support from its development partners initiated the Malawi Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP) in 2006. Due to success of the pilot scheme in Mchinji the SCTP has since been expanded to 7 districts and reaches over 26,000 ultra-poor and labour-constrained households and approximately 103,000 individuals.

The project ‘Strengthening Social Cash Transfer Programme through Linking and Learning” (SSCTP) was implemented in the districts of Chitipa (January 2010 – December 2010) and Mangochi (January 2011 – December 2011) by four Malawian Organizations namely, Network of Organizations for Vulnerable and Orphaned Children (NOVOC), Institute for Policy Research and Social Empowerment (IPRSE), Centre for Youth and Children Affairs (CEYCA) and Youth-net and Counseling (YONECO) in conjunction with the Malawi Government.

The overarching objective of this project was to mitigate the economic and psychosocial impact of HIV and AIDS related illness and death on OVC and their caretakers through strengthening the Social Cash Transfer programme targeted at labour constrained households and implemented by the Government of Malawi.

The project aimed at achieving the following intermediate objectives were to: (1) improve the management and implementation capacity of the two districts to deliver social cash transfers; (2) improve national, district and community level commitment and support for the implementation of the Social Protection Policy and Social Cash Transfer Scheme;  and (3) improve the linkages between SCTP beneficiaries and other social services.

Objectives: The overall objective of this study was to assess the progress attained in meeting the project goal and objectives in line with the activities implemented in both Chitipa and Mangochi districts.

Specifically the evaluation sought to:

  • assess the extent to which the project goal and objectives of the project were achieved in order to pave way for improved performance and implementation in future;
  • review the project design and the changes that resulted during the implementation process;
  • trace from the achievements registered, short and long term impacts resulted; and
  • document lessons learnt from the implementation of the project for future programming.

Using the theory of change of the project the study answered four hypotheses:

  • Hypothesis 1: Through training and sharing of experience, implementation and management of the SCTP improved in the two districts
  • Hypothesis 2: Development and popularization of Household Targeting and M & E Tools led to better targeting and monitoring of SCTP
  • Hypothesis 3: By providing platforms for reflection STOP AIDS NOW! and partners have improved 1) coordination, and 2) support for the SCTP
  • Hypothesis 4: Through awareness raising, lobbying and advocacy at national, district and community levels, 1) commitment and 2) support of the Social Protection Policy (SPP) and Social Cash Transfer (SCTP) Programme has improved
Activities: Activities for this project included: (1) Focus group discussions with beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of cash transfers, and community social protection committees; (2) key informant interviews with district staff, extension staff, community leaders and CSOs in Mangochi and Chitipa districts; and (3) data analysis and report writing.
Special Recognition:
Publications: www.stopaidsnow.org/document/4631