This report focussed on evidence published in the last ten years (since 2009) on cash transfer programs’ impact on stunting and financial inclusion. The importance of maternal education on stunting emerged from the literature and warrants further investigation, which was outside the scope of this report. Reporting of cash transfer programmes where impact on stunting was not found often note the difficulty in evaluating impacts on stunting over the short-term. The causes of stunting are complex and difficult to link to results. An emerging area, evidence was more scarce on the impacts of combining cash transfers with financial literacy specifically on poverty. Some examples of promising results on financial behaviours were identified and included in section 6. For example: A cash transfer programme including a tablet-based financial education programme in Colombia improved adoption of financial practices and savings behaviour; Significant economic impacts of cash transfers with a business skills course were found in Northern Uganda; Women in Northern Kenya increased savings with a cash transfer linked to training on savings groups.
K4D helpdesk reports provide summaries of current research, evidence and lessons learned. This report was commissioned by the UK Department for International Development.
Bolton, L. (2019). Cash transfer programmes – impact on stunting and financial inclusion. K4D Helpdesk Report 552. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies
Published 26 February 2019