Conditional Cash Transfer

CCT map

Conditional Cash Transfer (CCTs) programs are a fast growing part of safety net policy.  This section of the website summarizes recent program experiences and provides additional resources on the operational experiences to date.

Conditional Cash Transfer programs provide cash payments to poor households that meet certain behavioral requirements, generally related to children’s health care and education.

The first generation of conditional cash transfers (mostly in Latin American middle income countries) have been marked by good implementation with respect to targeting, general administration and impact evaluation.  From these programs we learn that well designed and implemented CCT programs can have a wide range of good outcomes, e.g. efficient targeting, increased food consumption and improved school enrollment.

The programs are, of course, not a panacea.  They generate full synergies between social assistance and human capital development only where the supply of health and education services is extensive and of reasonable quality.  They can also be administratively demanding. Both household targeting systems and the monitoring of compliance are data intensive, and the programs involve extensive coordination across agencies, and often levels of government.

More recent pilot adaptations are testing CCT’s in a diverse range of settings, in a growing list of low income countries, in urban settings (including the U.S. context), and for more specialized purposes.  We would expect that as programs are implemented in more diverse circumstances and of more variable quality, impacts will also become more variable.
World Bank – Conditional Cash Transfer


MIT – What are the economic impacts of conditional cash transfer programmes?

Conditional Cash Transfers in New York City

UNICEF – Transformative Transfers: Evidence from Liberia’s Social Cash Transfer Programme

World Bank – Conditional Cash Transfers: Reducing Present and Future Poverty

World Bank – New York City’s New Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program

World Bank – Beyond the income effect : impacts of conditional cash transfer programs on private investments in human capital

World Bank Approves New Funding for Philippines’ Social Safety Net

Brazil: Bolsa Familia Program – Scaling-up Cash Transfers for the Poor

New York City Will Stop Paying the Poor for Good Behavior

New findings on New York City’s conditional cash transfer program

Stanford University – Does New York City’s Experiment with Conditional Cash Transfers Offer Lessons for the Safety Net in the United States?

Mayor Bloomberg Announces Early Findings Of Nation’s First-ever Conditional Cash Transfer Program

Mexico’s Oportunidades Program Fails to Make the Grade in NYC

Princeton University – Policy Brief: Impacts of Unconditional Cash Transfers

Innovations for Poverty Action – Moving Beyond Conditional Cash Transfers in the Dominican Republic

Brookings – Is social policy in Latin America heading in the right direction? Beyond conditional cash transfer programs

New York Times – To Beat Back Poverty, Pay the Poor

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino National Program

Ideas for India – Improving maternal and child health through conditional cash transfers

Vox – Mexico tried giving poor people cash instead of food. It worked

Implementing a Conditional Cash Transfer Program in Two American Cities: Early Lessons from Family Rewards 2.0

National Center for Policy Analysis – The Case for Conditional Cash Transfers in the United States

Kellogg Foundation – Conditional Cash Transfer Grant

Reuters – More lessons from paying people to be less poor

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis – Mexico’s Oportunidades Program Fails to Make the Grade in NYC

University of Pittsburgh – Conditional Cash Transfer Programs and the Impact on Violent Crime in Mexico and Brazil

Mother Jones – Did This City Bring Down Its Murder Rate by Paying People Not to Kill?

The Guardian – A radical approach to gun crime: paying people not to kill each other

Can Conditional Cash Transfers Reduce Poverty and Crime? Evidence from Brazil

LEARNING PAPER: Cashing in on Transfer Modalities: Learnings from Prospects programme in the use of Mobile Money and Bank Accounts

Quartz – The surprisingly simple economic case for giving refugees cash, not stuff





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