Cash transfers as an instrument for developmental assistance have been empirically proven to be effective. Yet, some assumptions about human behavior and how recipients (re)act when receiving unconditional cash transfers, may hinder adoption and use of this instrument. In an online seminar on Wednesday 10 January 2024, from 15.00-16.00, professors Ashu Handa and Tia Palermo will share their scientific research on cash transfers. And they will dispel some myths on how humans react when you give them free money. Deputy Director General International Cooperation Steven Collet will provide a reflection from the view point of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Both scholars are affiliated with the Transfer Project, a multi-country cash transfer research initiative and a collaborative network between UNICEF Innocenti, FAO, University of North Carolina, UNICEF Regional and Country Offices, national governments, and local research partners.
Professors Handa and Palermo are authors of the influential paper Myth-Busting? Confronting Six Common Perceptions about Unconditional Cash Transfers as a Poverty Reduction Strategy in Africa. For example, the advice on Social Protection (2021) by the Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs cited this paper. The Government response to that report states: “The caretaker government has earmarked funds in the draft development cooperation budget for 2022 for an extra contribution to support cash transfers in Africa”. In 2022, about €20 million in cash transfers were to be used for social protection from the Dutch budget.
Why should you attend?
This meeting has two main target audiences:
- For members of the Behavioural Insights Network (BIN NL), this seminar is of interest because of the solid and rigorous methodology (large and well-designed Randomized Control Trials) that is employed to measure the effectiveness of cash transfers. And because the empirical evidence from this research shows that many assumptions about human behavior don’t hold. The Behavioural Insights Network Netherlands (BIN NL) is a collaboration between all Dutch ministries for the application of behavioural knowledge within government.
- For colleagues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this talk could inspire them to more often consider the instrument of cash transfers to obtain the results and policy goals of the Ministry. And thus move to more evidence-based policy development.
- Sudhanshu (Ashu) Handa is Kenan Eminent Professor of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina and Institute Fellow at the American Institutes for Research (AIR).
- Tia Palermo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the University at Buffalo (State University of New York).
- Steven Collet is the deputy Director General International Cooperation at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Online seminar (Zoom), Wednesday January 10th 2024, 15:00-16:00 (The Hague time, Central European Time (CET)). Please register via this link.
The seminar will be in English. The meeting will be recorded.
More information: Wilte Zijlstra, firstname.lastname@example.org