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Impact Evaluation of the Child Grants Programme & SPRINGS

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Silcio Daidone's (FAO) presentation at the Transfer Project Workshop in Arusha, Tanzania on 2nd April 2019.

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Impact Evaluation of the Child Grants Programme & SPRINGS

  1. 1. Impact evaluation of the Child Grants Programme and the Sustainable Poverty Reduction through Income, Nutrition and access to Government Services Transfer Project workshop – Arusha April 2, 2019
  2. 2. Social Protection: From Protection to Production Background • The Child Grants Programme (CGP) is the country’s flagship social assistance programme (unconditional cash transfer), covering 26,800 households by end of 2017 • Mixed evidence from the impact evaluation (IE) of the CGP (2011- 2014) • During the CGP IE, FAO-Lesotho began the “Linking Food Security to Social Protection Programme” (LFSSP), a one year a pilot initiative providing homestead gardening support to vulnerable households in areas covered by CGP
  3. 3. Social Protection: From Protection to Production The Sustainable Poverty Reduction through Income, Nutrition and access to Government Services (SPRINGS) • SPRINGS was piloted between 2015 and 2018 to increase impact on poor households’ livelihoods (UNICEF, MoSD and MoLG, EU): • Rural finance. Community based savings and internal lending groups, with financial education, known as Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC); • Homestead gardening. Keyhole/trench gardens, vegetable seeds distribution; • Access to markets. Market clubs and training on marketing principles; • Nutrition training. Community-led Complementary Feeding and Learning Sessions (CCFLS)); • Access to services. One Stop Shop / Citizen Services Outreach Days. • SPRINGS coverage by end of 2017: 6445 individuals in 3983 households
  4. 4. Social Protection: From Protection to Production Impact evaluation objectives and approach • Mixed method, with three streams of analysis: quantitative, qualitative and field-lab experiment • Study design sought to compare receipt of the CGP alone with participation in CGP + SPRINGS across three areas of inquiry: • Household welfare, economic security and market engagement • Financial inclusion, risk management and risk attitudes • Nutritional knowledge and dietary practices • The field-lab aimed at analysing risk attitudes: • Does the receipt of cash transfers and additional services reduce risk aversion, making individuals more willing to take risk? • Individual risk preferences represent the channel driving this shift from low- return/low risk activities towards high-return/high risk activities
  5. 5. Social Protection: From Protection to Production CONTEXT
  6. 6. Social Protection: From Protection to Production CGP target population: poor and vulnerable households with children, in the context of HIV pandemic • 42% households are female headed (FHH) • FHH are much more likely to have orphans (52% vs. 19% in male headed ones) 0 to 5 6 to 12 13 to 17 18 to 29 30 to 39 40 to 49 50 to 59 60 to 69 70 to 79 80+ 12 9 6 3 0 3 6 9 12 Population (%) males females Unusual high levels of adolescents and elderly in CGP eligible households
  7. 7. Social Protection: From Protection to Production Subsistence agriculture is the predominant livelihood in comparison households 35.7 3.16 17.5 5.5 20.8 16.7 23.7 0 10203040 %households Households source of cash income Crop income Sales Fru&Veg Livestock income Non-farm business revenues Wage labor Casual labor Public transfers 55.8 69.5 51.7 5.87 21.3 17.8 0 20406080 Households engagement in labor activities Crop production Vegetable production Livestock herding Non-farm business Wage labor Casual labor
  8. 8. Social Protection: From Protection to Production Food is two thirds of total household consumption in comparison households • Consumption includes: - Expenditures - Own production - In-kind transfers 1.3%5.1% 5.5% 8.4% 13% 67% 1.3% health fuel clothing other non-food education food Consumption items: Household consumption
  9. 9. Social Protection: From Protection to Production Women’s diets in comparison households mostly characterized by intake of starchy staples • On average, 5.2 food groups consumed by interviewed women • High variability of food intake: one quarter of the women consume only 1 or 2 food types, while one quarter consume 8 or 9 food types 91.7 49 53.1 68.3 35.2 61.8 54.4 60 48.9 0 20406080 100 Note: Food intake refers to 24 hrs prior to the survey Women dietary diversity Starchy staples Leafy veg Vitamin A Fru&Veg Other Fru&Veg Organ meat Meat Eggs Legumes Dairy
  10. 10. Social Protection: From Protection to Production Comparison households have low saving capacity and are risk- averse • Informal loans include loans from microlenders/sharks and from family members, friends, neighbours • Formal loans include loans from banks and other formal financial institutions, stockvels, burial societies and other “merry-go-round” groups 3.29 24 14.4 6.81 05 10152025 Households financial position Saving Purchasing on credit Informal loan Formal loan 3.01 5.24 3.73 123456789 10 Riskscore Households risk attitudes General Investment in agriculture Non-farm investment and borrowing Risk score goes from 1= absolutely unwilling to take risk to 10=willing to assume all the risk
  11. 11. Social Protection: From Protection to Production MAIN FINDINGS
  12. 12. Social Protection: From Protection to Production Household welfare, economic security and market engagement • CGP only: • No significant impact on income • Transfer was used for child welfare needs • Reduction of child labour • Increased sense of household income security • However, the impact of CGP alone was reduced by the inadequacy of the transfer amount and the irregularity of payments Regarding children’s needs, “you’ll have to buy shoes in January and then something else only in the next quarter” (female beneficiary, Ha Teketsi village)
  13. 13. Social Protection: From Protection to Production Household welfare, economic security and market engagement (2) • CGP and SPRINGS • Reduction of poverty (12 percent in the poverty gap). • Increase of non-food consumption (24 percent increase) “I used to struggle a lot with four children. I was only able to buy them clothes once a year, but now after CGP and SPRINGS I am able to buy them clothes a few times a year and then provide them adequate food” (male beneficiary, Mahlabatheng village)
  14. 14. Social Protection: From Protection to Production Household welfare, economic security and market engagement (3) • CGP and SPRINGS • Strong increase in sales of fruits and vegetables (due to keyhole gardening) helped increase household incomes • Positive impact on agricultural inputs expenses and use • However, promoting household production and supply of vegetables was perceived to create risks of saturation in local markets, thereby depressing prices and incomes • Perception of stronger household income security - even if not reflected in an actual real increase of household income “We also didn't really know how to grow vegetables and SPRINGS gave us training on how to construct and how to grow a variety of vegetables – before SPRINGS we would only plant one vegetable at a time” (female beneficiary, Letlapeng village)
  15. 15. Social Protection: From Protection to Production Financial inclusion • CGP only: - Heavy reliance on indebtedness to cope with delays in CGP payment- particularly from high-interest loans from moneylenders • CGP + SPRINGS: - Large increase in the share of households that save (100+%) and borrow (82%) money– largely driven by SILC groups - Increase in the amount of money saved and borrowed (100+ and 70%, respectively) - Some investments now directed to production and productive assets - financial awareness, as evidenced in basic planning and budgeting of household expenses and income streams – due to SILC “We were never aware we could save and borrow this easily” (female beneficiary, Top village, Menkhoaneng Community Council) “People now have capital to start producing home brewed beer and sell to others. From IGAs such as home brewing and spaza shops, people then use the profits made to contribute money to SILC” (SILC Field Agent, Mahlabatheng village)
  16. 16. Social Protection: From Protection to Production Risk management and attitudes (1) • CGP only: - Need to continue piece work - Greater risk-taking, dampened by late and irregular CGP payments, combined with the fear of being removed from the programme “People were still afraid to take risks such as making small investments to set up IGAs especially with CGP transfers as it was meant for children needs” (Opinion Leaders, Maisa Phoka Community Council)
  17. 17. Social Protection: From Protection to Production Risk management and attitudes (2) • CGP + SPRINGS: - Reduction of negative coping strategies, such as cutting meals or engaging in daily piece work - Greater willingness to take risk and greater risk-taking, especially in the early cohort of CGP and SPRINGS combined where beneficiaries are accessing loans and saving more through SILC – duration in programme seems to matter “Beneficiaries are able to work together in the community by building keyhole gardens and contributing money in SILC” (male beneficiary, Mahlabatheng village)
  18. 18. Social Protection: From Protection to Production Nutritional knowledge and dietary practices (1) - CGP only: • Improvements in diet, but mostly only in the two weeks following payment • Infants increased daily food intake including of more nutritious food (porridge with milk) although this did not translate into improved anthropometric outcomes
  19. 19. Social Protection: From Protection to Production Nutritional knowledge and dietary practices (2) • CGP+SPRINGS had strong impact on dietary diversity and child nutrition • Increased consumption of green vegetables, fruits, organ meat, dairy and legumes • Nutritious food available all year round • Greater diet diversity was prompted by keyhole garden production combined with increased purchases of different foods (milk, meat, eggs) • Perceptions that more food is available in community, due to spillover effects of keyhole production practiced by many “you’ll see them from town with many plastics – rice, milk, eggs included in the plastics. They didn’t eat rice and meat regularly, but now they eat a variety” (SILC field agent in Tenesolo Community Council)
  20. 20. Social Protection: From Protection to Production Nutritional knowledge and dietary practices (3) • CGP+SPRINGS • Improved nutritional knowledge and consumption patterns, combined with increased hygiene and sanitation due to the CCFLS component of SPRINGS • Improvement of knowledge and practice on food processing • Strong improvements in anthropometric measures • Increased access to health clinics, immunization and growth monitoring “Children are able to play when they are at school because they are eating well and they are no longer getting sick easily” (beneficiary in Menkhoaneng Community Council) “People are also equipped with skills on food preservation involving drying of vegetables, such as beetroot and preserving in bottles - through training provided by SPRINGS” (Field monitor, Tenesolo Community Council)
  21. 21. Social Protection: From Protection to Production Conclusions • Positive story from combining cash with rural livelihood interventions • But impacts on gardening and financial inclusion have not translated into large income gains: a. Lack of access to markets? b. Or should we expect larger increases in income only few years after new businesses have started and consolidated? • Important protective function of cash transfer alone (reduction of child work and improvements in the diets)
  22. 22. Social Protection: From Protection to Production Recommendations • Strengthen engagement of social assistance beneficiaries in groups like SILC • Foster investments in farm and non-farm income generating activities to increase the probability of having medium and long term impacts • Establish and support greater linkages to markets • Provide support for prolonged periods of time
  23. 23. Thank you !!! Kea leboha !!! Shukrani !!!

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