The design and management of cash transfer programmes: an overview

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Development Pathways is pleased to share a new publication, ‘The design and management of cash transfer programmes: an overview’.  KfW Development Bank commissioned Stephen Barrett and Stephen Kidd through Development Pathways for this paper. This paper describes and explains the operations of cash transfer schemes, outlining good practice in the design processes required to operationalize policy-level design principles. It describes the four key components comprising the administrative structure of most cash transfer programmes and, based on international experience, provides a brief analysis of the issues, options and risks associated with each component. The paper goes on to describe a number of critical organizational policies and systems that are required to ensure good quality implementation of the four core operational processes.

Cash transfers are increasingly recognised as an important tool for tackling poverty and inequality in developing countries, with many implementing large-scale cash transfer programmes aiming to offer comprehensive access to social security. There is significant evidence of the positive impacts of these programmes on human, social and economic development. Increasing attention is now being paid to issues of service delivery quality, value-for-money, risk management, and accountability within these schemes, which are particularly important when governments seek to scale-up small, successful programmes or reform under-performing large-scale schemes.

Dr Stephen Kidd is a Senior Social Policy Specialist at Development Pathways who has worked as a consultant and adviser on social development and social protection for the past 30 years. Stephen Barrett is a well known social protection policy and programming adviser, with over 8 years’ experience working in social protection and is currently advising the Government of Rwanda on social protection. Please note that the opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of KfW Development Bank or Development Pathways.

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