Conditional Cash Transfer

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Conditional Cash Transfer Programs in Developing Settings:
Executive Summary

Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs provide cash payments to poor households that meet certain behavioral requirements, generally related to children’s health, nutrition and education.1 For example, in Mexico’s PROGRESA, grants are provided to poor families with children under 18 enrolled in primary and secondary school on condition that the parents send children to school and regularly visit health centers. Evaluation results show that in general CCTs are effective means of reducing poverty and incentivizing parents to invest in the health and education of their children.2

CCTs are versatile programs, and have been used in a variety of different countries and regions worldwide. The largest CCTs such as Brazil’s Bolsa Escola and Mexico’s PROGRESA cover millions of households aimed at developing human capital in education attendance and health services. In Honduras and Colombia, CCTs are focused more narrowly on extremely poor households to increase educational attainment and reduce child labor. In Cambodia, CCTs have been implemented to address gender disparities in education. Recent CCT pilot programs are being used in Sub-Saharan Africa to reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS infection.
There are three important elements to consider when designing a CCT program: payment system, payment size and desired impact.
The payment systems used in CCTs varies across countries. Most of the Latin American programs work through the banking system. For example, in Brazil, payments are made on debit cards and cash can be withdrawn at banks, ATM machines or lottery sale points. In nearly all extant CCT programs, parents are the recipients of the cash transfer payments, and in nearly all programs where the parent is the recipient, payments are made to the mother of the children.

In practice, there…...

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