Zambia’s Child Grant Program: Baseline Report

Sudhanshu Handa, University of North Carolina

In 2010, Zambia’s Ministry of Community Development and Social Services began implementing the Child Grant cash transfer program in three districts. An impact evaluation with experimental design accompanied the program in order to learn its effects on recipients and provide evidence for making decisions about the future of the program. AIR was contracted by UNICEF Zambia in 2010 to design and implement a randomized controlled trial for a three-year impact evaluation of the program and to conduct the necessary data collection, analysis, and reporting.

The primary goals of this baseline report are to describe the sample developed for the evaluation and the approach to random assignment, assess targeting, check for equivalence between the treatment and control groups, and estimate potential effects of the program on outcomes by using statistical models that link outcomes to income and other factors. Predicting programmatic effects in advance introduces an extra level of the scientific method to the study by stating up front the hypothesized results, a characteristic not typically conducted in cash transfer studies but something that ideally would accompany any baseline report.