Impact of the Monze Social Cash Transfer Scheme on household income in Zambia
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Most studies that have considered the impact of Social Cash Transfers on household income and poverty in Africa have found households receiving cash transfers to be better off compared to those not receiving. However, many of these studies have focused on primary outcomes that directly affect consumption expenditure. Yet there are several other potential outcomes that could also affect households' well-being. This study used panel data from Zambia's Monze Pilot social cash transfer Scheme and the double-difference estimator to determine the impact of social cash transfers on the household income from agricultural sales and off-farm economic activities. The results identify positive and significant impacts of social cash transfers at both one and five percent levels of significance on household income from agricultural sales and off-farm economic activities. These findings confirm the long-held view among proponents and, increasingly, governments and cooperating partners that social cash transfers are an effective instrument for not only raising the welfare of vulnerable sections of society but also improving their productive capacities. The study recommends scaling up of the scheme in order to benefit more poor people and ensuring the social protection policy provides for stringent guidelines on the graduation of beneficiaries from the scheme.