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Cash Plus

Cash Plus

Evidence shows that direct payments of cash, or cash transfers, help the world’s poorest families meet their basic needs and generate a wide range of benefits, such as increased household productive capacity, improved children’s school attendance and better adolescent mental health. Despite this, cash transfers alone are not a ‘silver bullet’ for all aspects of poverty and wellbeing.

Research by the UNICEF Office of Research Innocenti, along with national and international research partners, governments and UNICEF country offices, shows that integrating cash transfers with other components, like health insurance, livelihood training, or links to sexual and reproductive health services, can generate additional benefits for individuals as well as their households. This combination of cash transfers and complementary programmes is called integrated social protection or cash plus.

UNICEF Innocenti is conducting research on a wide range of cash plus programmes in multiple countries. We combine impact evaluations with process evaluations, to better understand the role and quality of implementation of the specific programme components and design features. Most of the considered cash plus programmes combine cash with interventions for improving access to social services:

  • Fee waivers for national health insurance in Ghana.
  • Health insurance combined with linkages to social services and behavioural change communication in Ethiopia.
  • Water and sanitation combined with nutrition-related services in Burkina Faso.
  • Case management for protection and violence combined with nutrition behavioural change communication for mothers of children aged zero to two years in Mozambique.
  • Interventions that target adolescents in Tanzania through livelihood and sexual and reproductive health training, mentoring, productive grants, and linkages to health services.


A Cash Plus Model for Safe Transitions to a Healthy and Productive Adulthood: Midline Report
Publication Publication

A Cash Plus Model for Safe Transitions to a Healthy and Productive Adulthood: Midline Report

This report provides midline findings from the impact evaluation of a cash plus model targeting youth in households receiving the United Republic of Tanzania’s Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN). Implemented by the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF), with technical assistance of the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) and UNICEF Tanzania, the programme aims to improve livelihood opportunities and facilitate a safe transition to adulthood.
‘Cash Plus’: Linking Cash Transfers to Services and Sectors
Publication Publication

‘Cash Plus’: Linking Cash Transfers to Services and Sectors

Cash transfers have been successful in reducing food insecurity, increasing consumption, building resiliency against economic shocks, improving productivity and increasing school enrolment. Despite the many successes of cash transfer programmes, they can also fall short of achieving longer-term and second-order impacts related to nutrition, learning and health outcomes. A recent study highlights how so-called ‘Cash Plus’ programmes, which offer additional components or linkages to existing services on top of regular cash payments, may help address such shortcomings.
A Cash Plus Model for Safe Transitions to a Healthy and Productive Adulthood: Baseline Report
Publication Publication

A Cash Plus Model for Safe Transitions to a Healthy and Productive Adulthood: Baseline Report

This report presents the evaluation design and baseline findings from a 24-month, mixed methods study to provide evidence on the potential for an additional plus component targeted to youth that is layered on top of the Government of Tanzania’s Productive Social Safety Net to improve future economic opportunities for youth and facilitate their safe transitions to adulthood. This pilot study is based on the recognition that cash alone is rarely sufficient to mitigate all risks and vulnerabilities youth face or to overcome structural barriers to education, delayed marriage and pregnancy, and other safe transitions. The model the intervention follows was informed by a workshop held in Tanzania in February 2016 with government, researchers and development partners.

Project countries

Project team

Maja Gavrilovic

UNICEF Innocenti

Valeria Groppo

UNICEF Innocenti

Lusajo Kajula

UNICEF Innocenti

Essa Chanie Mussa

UNICEF Innocenti

Frank Otchere

UNICEF Innocenti

Amber Peterman

UNICEF Innocenti

Dominic Richardson

UNICEF Innocenti

Nyasha Tirivayi

UNICEF Innocenti

Elsa Valli

UNICEF Innocenti

Francesca Viola

UNICEF Innocenti

Jennifer Waidler

UNICEF Innocenti




Innocenti Project(s) 2016-2021:

Child labour

Child labour and education in India and Bangladesh

Child labour and social protection in Africa

Social protection and cash transfers



Tanzania Theory of Change

Conference and meetings

Transfer Project Workshop 2019

International Conference on Universal Child Grants


Mind the gender norm gap: How can a gender norms lens help advance better outcomes for adolescents through social protection?


Social Protection and Adolescence: Evidence, Promise, and Gaps. Policy in Focus on Children and social protection: understanding and responding to children’s needs


Tia Palermo on Cash Transfers, Gender and Impact of Research

'Cash Plus' for adolescents in Tanzania: How it started, where it's going, and why research matter

Journal articles

Impacts of a Cash Plus Intervention on Gender Attitudes Among Tanzanian Adolescents

Enhanced Life Distress Inventory: development and validation in two African countries

Impacts of a social protection program paired with fee waivers on enrolment in Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme

Child malnutrition, consumption growth, maternal care and price shocks: new evidence from Northern Ghana

Child marriage and associated outcomes in Northern Ghana: a cross-sectional study


Ghana LEAP 1000 Programme: Endline Evaluation Report

Ghana LEAP 1000 Programme: Baseline Evaluation Report

Power Point presentation

Child Marriage and Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Programme

Government Anti-Poverty Programming and Intimate Partner Violence in Ghana

How are Social Protection Programmes Targeting or Inclusive of Adolescence?

Cash Transfers, Violence & Youth

Impacts of a Cash Plus Intervention on Gender Attitudes Among Tanzanian Adolescents

A Cash Plus Model for Safe Transitions to Adulthood: Impacts on the Sexual and Reproductive Health Knowledge of Tanzania’s Youth


Effects of Cash Transfers on Protection and Well-Being Outcomes for Women and Children

What's new

Impacts of the Ghana Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty 1000 programme

The cash plus model: improving adolescent wellbeing with evidence

When cash alone is not enough: the transformative power of cash plus programmes

‘Cash plus’ interventions have potential for greater impact than cash alone


Cash Plus: An Adolescent Livelihood, Health and Well-being Intervention as part of Tanzania’s Productive Social Safety Net Programme

Mradi wa Afya na Ujasiriamali Kwa Vijana: Hatua za Utekelezaji katika Kuboresha Maisha, Afya na Ustawi wa Vijana kama sehemu ya Mpango Endelevu wa Kunusuru Kaya Maskini

Ujana Salama Cash Plus Model on Youth Well-being and Safe, Healthy Transitions: Baseline findings