Private-sector cash transfers (CASH-IN)


Start date: 1 September, 2020 End date: 31 May, 2025 Project type: Research projects in countries with extended development cooperation (earlier Window 1) Project code: 19-05-RUC Countries: Tanzania Uganda Thematic areas: Humanitarian assistance and development, Production, industry and labour market, State building, governance and civil society, Lead institution: Roskilde University (RUC), Denmark Partner institutions: Makerere University (MAK), Uganda University of Dodoma (UDOM), Tanzania Project website: go to website (the site might be inactive) Project coordinator: Lars Buur Total grant: 11,944,444 DKK

Project summary

The overall objective of CASH-IN is to investigate whether and to what extent privately managed cash transfers (PrivCTs) are politicized by ruling elites and how this affects inclusive sustainable growth and state-society relations. Cash transfers have become an increasingly popular way of providing international development and humanitarian assistance. Giving money to people in need is not new, but over the last two decades direct cash transfers have emerged as a key aid modality bridging the development–humanitarian nexus. Cash transfers may be funded by private donors, governments or as part of international aid. While publicly managed social-protection and cash-transfer programmes have been extensively scrutinized, hardly any studies exist of privately managed programmes. Research on publicly managed programmes indicates that politicization and capture by ruling elites impact on their ability to lead to sustainable inclusive economic growth and costly implementation of the programmes.
Can privately managed cash transfers avoid the types of political capture that studies of public transfers have generally uncovered and what type of state-society relations do they produce?
CASH-IN will be the first study to focus systematically on privately managed humanitarian and development cash transfers. In order to capture the political dimension of cash transfers, Uganda and Tanzania both have significant experience of the diversity of political organizations and political settlements. Tanzania is generally considered to be a dominant party-state system, while Uganda comes closer to being a competitive clientelist state.
Comparative analysis of these countries enables the project to examine the links between the type of political settlement and its influence, if any, on privately managed cash transfers for both humanitarian (short-term) and development-oriented (long-term) cash-transfer programmes.


First year report:
The CASH-IN research programme contrasts privately managed cash-transfer projects (CTs) with publicly managed CTs in Uganda and Tanzania, and assesses the potential to scale CTs. CASH-IN has hired five project PhDs based at Roskilde University in Denmark, Makerere University in Uganda and Dodoma University in Tanzania, besides one self-financed PhD at Makerere University in Uganda. The PhDs straddle the fields of international development, economics and sociology/anthropology.
The field of social-cash-transfers, has seen a virtual explosion and expansion of the field due to COVID-19, as well as the present Ukraine grain-food crisis, which has catapulted social cash transfers into becoming a main way of reaching out to vulnerable groups in society.
The programme has selected a series of case studies of CTs in Uganda and Tanzania – three privately managed in each country and the two main publicly managed CT programmes – SAGE in Uganda and TASAF in Tanzania – for further research. The programme is interested in two cardinal issues: 1. what kind of social contracts (state-society) or social relations do different types of CTs develop with beneficiary populations; and 2. what are the cost-efficiency implications of different types of CTs (COST and Impact implications)? Besides these issues, the programme is also exploring the social contract and cost-efficiency implications of different types of modalities of in-kind cash (cash-by-wheel), e-cash and bank-organized CTs.

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