The Harmonised Social Cash Transfer (HSCT) was introduced in 2011 by the Ministry of Labour and Social Services (MoLSS) to “strengthen the purchasing power of 55 000 ultra-poor households who are labour constrained through cash transfer”. The first transfer was provided in February 2012. The programme aims to enable beneficiary households to increase their consumption to a level above the food poverty line, to reduce the number of ultra-poor households and to help beneficiaries avoid risky coping strategies such as child labour and early marriage. Moreover, the programme is expected to lead to improved nutritional status and to improved outcomes for children in health and education. Eligible households receive bi-monthly unconditional cash payments that range in size from US$10 to US$25 per month based on household size. The HSCT is intended to harmonize with and complement existing social protection programmes, notably the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) and Assisted Medical Treatment Orders (AMTO). The HSCT is jointly funded by the Government of Zimbabwe and UNICEF through the multi-donor aligned Child Protection Fund (CPF). By June 2013 32 591 households with 152 016 household members, including 97 561 children, were in receipt of an unconditional cash transfer in 13 districts of Zimbabwe (20 percent national coverage).
Targeting is conducted through application of a household survey by the national statistics agency and verification by Department of Social Services (DSS) and UNICEF, guided by the HSCT Manual of Operations.
FAO. Impacts of the Harmonised Social Cash Transfer Programme on Community Dynamics in Zimbabwe. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy (2013) 2 pp.