To address this gap, we test the effect of unconditional cash transfer implemented in Uganda on multidimensional deprivation of children in the recipient families. The deprivation analyses addresses the aforementioned gap by taking a comprehensive approach that examines multiple dimensions of child poverty experienced simultaneously.
Methods: We use the longitudinal panel data collected within the Uganda Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment. The SAGE program targeted poor and vulnerable households offering them bimonthly unconditional cash transfers in the amount of 25,000 Ugandan Shillings (~7 USD) per month. The outcome of interest—multidimensional child’s deprivation—is measured using the multiple overlapping deprivation analyses (MODA) tool developed by UNICEF. The tool is based on the definition of child poverty as “deprivation of the material, spiritual, and emotional resources needed for children to survive, develop, and thrive”. The tool, thus, captures multiple dimensions of child poverty and deprivation (such as, for example, food security, access to clean water and sanitation, health care, education, adequate housing, access to information, child labor, and exposure to violence) experienced simultaneously. By doing so, the tool provides a more comprehensive picture of child wellbeing, as compared to monetary measures of child poverty. Furthermore, the measure focuses on child (and not the household) as the unit of analyses. It acknowledges that children’s needs are heterogeneous across their childhood, and, therefore, different age groups are examined separately.
Results: We found no effect of conditional cash transfers on multidimensional child’s deprivation, despite the effect of intervention on several deprivations tested separately.
Conclusions and Implications: To our knowledge, this is the first study that tests effect of cash transfers on multidimensional child deprivation, and it addresses a significant gap in the existing knowledge.