While Cash Transfer Programs (CTP) has been used to address a variety of social problems, as of yet, there is limited literature on the efficacy of cash transfers in ensuring food security. This study aims to fill this vacuum by investigating the circumstances under which cash transfers are effective in ensuring food security. Malawi, the selected country for this study, provides a useful platform of research because the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) implemented this policy there. More specifically, this study aims at investigating the extent to which the IFRC CTP was effective in ensuring food security in Malawi. To answer this question, I used a document analysis method to review primary and secondary data. I also adopted Browne (2013) theory of change to identify the circumstances which are necessary for the efficacy of CT in addressing food security. These conditions include the existence of markets, price stability, availability and timely disbursement of funds, coordination and communication, and availability of mobile phones/network coverage. The evidence gotten from independent data such as the World Food Programs Reduced Coping Strategy Index (rCSI) and the Fourth Malawi Integrated Household Survey report (2016/2017) reveals that the IFRC CTP was insufficient to ensure food security. This was due to the volatility of food prices during the CTP, underfunding of the CTP by the IFRC, poor communication and coordination between the IFRC and Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) during the CTP, lack of mobile phones by beneficiaries at the inception of the CTP, and absence of well-developed markets. Thus, the findings from this study indicate that if mechanisms such as markets, price stability, availability and timely disbursement of funds, coordination and communication, and availability of mobile phones/network coverage are in place, unconditional cash transfer (UCT) will be effective in ensuring food security.
|Advisor:||Jimenez, Luis F.|
|Commitee:||Jurkovich, Michelle D., Tafe, Ursala C.|
|School:||University of Massachusetts Boston|
|Department:||Public Affairs/International Relations (MS)|
|School Location:||United States -- Massachusetts|
|Source:||MAI 58/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
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