Programme delivery effectiveness and health outcomes of maternal cash transfer programme

The Government of Myanmar, supported by the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement (MSWRR), launched a National Social Protection Strategy in December 2014. Among the “Flagship Programmes” stated in the Strategy, the Government committed to a universal maternity cash transfer (MCT) programme for pregnant women and their children under age 2.

The main scope of the study is to assess implementation design options for the delivery of a maternal cash transfer programme and advise the Government of Myanmar on the most appropriate model to be extended at scale. The project – conducted in collaboration with implementing partner Save the Children International (SCI) – will be carried out in three townships in the Dry Zone in Myanmar.

The study is part of a broader randomised controlled trial that investigates the impacts of an unconditional and universal maternal cash transfer (monthly transfer of 10,000 Kyats), combined with different behavioural communication campaign strategies on child health and well-being. Through two randomised interventions implemented at village level, we will discover whether different approaches of delivering cash and monitoring have any impact on outcomes, including programme leakages and corruption. The first intervention, implemented in one of the three townships, will vary whether the cash transfers will be delivered through local governmental institutions or a pre-exsisting MFI. The second will vary who will monitor enrollment and the cash delivery to the programme’s recipients (top-down or bottom-up approach) and whether/how the information on programme effectiveness will be displayed to the community. The second intervention will be run in all the three townships

Overall, the programme aims to determine the most effective method of cash delivery and monitoring and share these results with the government before a potential, nation-wide scale up of the programme.