Improving Farmers' Livelihoods through Unconditional Cash Transfers

Client: GiveDirectly, Benckiser Stiftung Zukunft Foundation (BSZ)
Location: Uganda
Sector: Agriculture, Livelihoods, Cash Transfers
IDinsight service: Decision-Focused Evaluation
IDinsight contacts: Dan Stein
Status: Complete
Dates of Service: November 2016 - December 2018
Additional Resources: February 2019 Report

The Problem

Today, development donors often have to work through intermediaries to aid the communities they hope to serve. However, GiveDirectly shifts this model by enabling donors to give cash directly to these communities. These unconditional cash transfers (UCTs) are direct cash infusions without any accompanying requirements. With the support of the Benckiser Stiftung Zukunft Foundation (BSZ), GiveDirectly is piloting a UCT program targeting coffee farmers in the Iganga district of Uganda. In theory, these farmers have high potential returns on investments in their coffee farm, and cash transfers could help them make this investment. UCTs are expected to help farmers tap into new income streams and boost assets, income, productivity, and welfare.

GiveDirectly and IDinsight worked together to conduct a randomized controlled trial to study the effect of their UCT program on Igangan farmers’ assets, consumption, income, food security, and overall welfare. The results will help BSZ decide what role cash should play in its efforts to support coffee farmers.

Evidence Needs

IDinsight Service

IDinsight provided technical supporting throughout the design and implementation of the randomized controlled trial, working closely with GiveDirectly to design the RCT, develop a targeting algorithm, provide quality control for data collection, and conduct the analysis.


Results pending.