Cash Plus work in progress meeting

Assessing the impact of the social protection programmes in Zambia

UNU-WIDER's SOUTHMOD tax-benefit microsimulation team, in collaboration with the senior partners from Southern African Social Policy Research Insights (SASPRI) and Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR), as well as the International Labour Organization (ILO), is involved in assessing the impact of the social protection programmes in Zambia. This event gathered personnel from ministries in Zambia, other stakeholders, and researchers from SASPRI, ZIPAR and UNU-WIDER to discuss the preliminary findings and the next steps of the assessment. The team working outside Zambia took part in the event virtually.

In the meeting the project team shared preliminary findings of coverage and poverty impact of social protection programmes in Zambia focusing on the Cash Plus policies e.g. social cash transfer (SCT) and supporting women’s livelihood programmes.

The Cash Plus is a social protection intervention that builds on the regular cash transfers (floors) by combining these with additional social protection benefits (i.e., offering complementary support), to optimize the effects of cash transfers on reducing extreme poverty.

The aims of the Cash Plus study are to analyse the coverage and impacts of current social protection policies and potential Cash Plus policy reforms using MicroZAMOD, the tax-benefit microsimulation model for Zambia. The purpose of the study is to support the technical committee and the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS) in evidence-based policy making.

The Cash Plus study is structured into three phases:

1) An empirical analysis of the coverage and under-coverage of the current social protection system
2) An empirical analysis of a potential Cash Plus policy reform
3) An empirical analysis of potential further reforms to extend coverage and support

All phases include close interaction and discussion between the Cash Plus project team, relevant ministries, and other stakeholders (ILO, FAO etc.) to ensure the policy relevance of produced findings. The final report, including findings from three phases, will be shared with policy makers at the end of the project, in autumn 2021.