Private-sector cash transfers (CASH-IN)

Description

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.