The conditional cash transfer (CCT) revolution in Latin America and the
Caribbean, beginning in the mid-1990s and continuing to this day,
heralded a new prominence and acceptance of applying rigorous impact
evaluations to social programmes. Beginning with the landmark impact
evaluation of the Mexican PROGRESA programme in 1998, almost all
programmes in this new generation of social programmes were accompanied
by experimental, or non-experimental but rigorous, impact evaluations.
These impact evaluations radically advanced the state of knowledge on
CCTs, leading to improved implementation in their respective countries,
but also pushing forward in terms of methodology, technique, design,
sampling and analysis of impact evaluation data.
The Latin American experience in impact evaluation, however, may soon be
rivalled. Sub-Saharan Africa has begun its own cash transfer (CT)
revolution. And, more importantly for the discussion here, African
countries have followed a similar pattern of rigorous impact evaluation.
As can be seen in the table, rigorous impact evaluations, experimental
and non-experimental, have been carried out or commissioned on
government-run CT programmes in no fewer than 14 countries in the last
Davis, B.; Gaarder, M.; Handa, S.; Yablonski, J. Evaluating the Impact of Cash Transfer Programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa. International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC - IG), Brasilia, Brazil (2012) 1 p pp.