Can cash transfers work as HIV prevention?
Designed to supplement and stabilise household income, cash transfers are regular payments made directly to individuals. Once seen as an option for wealthy countries only, they are an increasingly common form of social protection in low- and middle-income countries too.
After decades in which development policy has emphasised improvements in the state’s supply of public goods and services, there is increasing interest in what can be achieved by transferring resources directly to poor people. DFID 2011
Cash transfer programmes target different populations according to a range of criteria. Some are conditional. One example, the basis for the influential Zomba study, found that cash transferred to girls and their families in rural Malawi, on condition that the girls stayed in school, successfully reduced HIV infection rates.
STRIVE partners are investigating the potential of cash transfers to slow the epidemic. They pose questions such as:
- How important is conditionality of payments?
- Can the impact of cash transfers on vulnerability to HIV be attributed to poverty reduction?
- How can HIV impact be sustained?
- Are the benefits of cash transfers temporary or transformative?
- Could additional or longer term benefits be achieved by combining economic and empowerment project components?
STRIVE Projects and Publications
A trial of cash transfers for HIV prevention among adolescent women in rural South Africa.
Charlotte Watts and Lori Heise (2012), paper and poster presentations, AIDS 2012
Michelle Remme, Anna Vassall, Brian Lutz, Charlotte Watts (2012), The Lancet
Brian Lutz (2012), STRIVE Learning Lab
Catherine MacPhail and Emilie Venables (2012), STRIVE Learning Lab
Catherine Arnold with Tim Conway and Matthew Greenslade (2011), DFID Policy Division
Michelle Adato and Lucy Bassett (2012), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Maggie Bangser (2012), UNICEF/TACAIDS
Garcia Marito and Charity M. T. Moore (2012), World Bank
Deborah Caro (2009), Futures Group, Health Policy Initiative, Task Order 1