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The Pilot Social Cash Transfer Scheme Kalomo District - Zambia

Bernd Schubert

social protection


This working paper presents a review and analysis of the Kalomo Pilot Social Cash Transfer Scheme, initiated in November 2003 by the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS) of the Republic of Zambia, in cooperation with German Technical Assistance (GTZ). The Zambian context of widespread food poverty and vulnerability is introduced, and it is suggested that there are approximately 200,000 households that suffer both critical levels of food poverty and high dependency ratios, and as such are unable to respond to any development opportunities that arise. It is these 'worst off' households that are targeted by the Pilot Scheme. Following a discussion of the rationale, objectives, and recent history of the Pilot Scheme, the targeting, approval and payment mechanism is detailed. The paper concludes with initial analysis of the performance and impact of the scheme. It is noted that while the Pilot Scheme has been highly effective in selecting only eligible households, the number of eligible households outstrips the 'bottom 10%' ceiling in some communities. The Scheme is highly effective in distributing transfers to beneficiaries with bank accounts living near Kalomo Town, as well as through the decentralised 'Pay Points', after initial delays. Both targeted beneficiaries and the local community have expressed that the transfers have improved the well being of the poorest households. Beneficiaries are using the transfers to buy food and other basic needs. Further, some beneficiaries have saved some of the cash (including through a rotating fund) and have invested in seed and small animals.

Publication Type(s)

CPRC Working Paper


vulnerability policy social protection Africa Zambia cash transfers southern Africa

ISBN: 1-904049-51-6


The Pilot Social Cash Transfer Scheme Kalomo District PDF 321.9 KB

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