From April 6-8, 2016 the Transfer Project convened a major international workshop for policymakers, researchers, and UN experts in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The meeting brought together national governments, research institutions and international organizations to discuss rigorous research findings and future directions of government cash transfer programs in Africa and beyond.Since 2008, the Transfer Project has accumulated a critical mass of evidence on the multiple impacts of government run, cash transfers in Africa. Many governments have scaled-up programmes, raising important new questions on policy and implementation. By bringing together stakeholders to share in-depth experiences, the Transfer Project workshop provided an unique opportunity to discuss lessons learned and look at new ways for moving forward.The 2016 workshop entered a new frontier for the Transfer Project, with the scope of topics and geographic focus broader than years before. Past events have been dedicated to cash transfer policy, implementation and evaluation; but this year, sessions also covered programme designs that link cash to additional essential social services, known as “social protection plus” or “cash-plus” models. Discussions were held on planned or ongoing impact evaluations, as well as emerging findings, methodological gaps and unanswered questions around cash-plus livelihoods, agriculture interventions and nutrition. This was also the first year the workshop highlighted case studies and cash transfer evaluation experiences from Asia.The UNICEF Ethiopia Country Offices and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) hosted the event, with Transfer Project partners from across UNICEF, FAO's From Protection to Production (PtoP) Project, Save the Children UK and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill leading various sessions. Among the approximately 80 invited participants included government partners implementing and evaluating cash transfer programmes, and other social protection experts from academic institutions, non-governmental organizations and international development agencies.(2 May 2016)
In February 2016, UNICEF convened a group of stakeholders, including government, United Nations (UN), non-governmental organization (NGO) implementers, researchers and experts, and members of the donor community to assess options for a social protection "plus" (or cash plus) intervention within the framework of Tanzania’s Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN), a conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme. The concept of "cash plus" encompasses layering of services, interventions or messaging onto cash transfer programmes in an effort to leverage the cash and amplify its impacts. The rationale is that cash alone is not always sufficient to reduce the broad, interrelated social and economic risks and vulnerabilities that vulnerable populations face, and that additional support may be needed. The aim of this workshop was to discuss options for a "plus" component aimed at and facilitating safe transitions to adulthood and reducing violence and exploitation experienced by adolescents. Specifically, workshop members reviewed and discuss the evidence for three "plus" options, including 1) adolescent economic and related empowerment bundled interventions; 2) parenting interventions; and 3) social norm change interventions. In addition to reviewing the evidence presented by experts and in the background paper, workshop aims included making recommendations on intervention components and deciding on next steps for the planning process (moving from concept to action).