The Transfer Project is a joint initiative of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) and Save the Children UK, in partnership with national governments, local and international researchers.


Active in over 190 countries through country programmes and National Committees, UNICEF has been supporting the design, implementation and evaluation of social transfers in a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Many of the lead researchers are based at the UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti and work together in partnership with UNICEF Headquarters, UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office and UNICEF Country Offices, as well as with leading academic institutions and development networks, both the North and the South.

Key UNICEF publications include:

Based at one of the leading universities in the Unites States, the Carolina Population Center (CPC) at the University of North Carolina (UNC) was established in 1966 and is a world-renowned research center working on path-breaking research in 85 countries and across the US. CPC’s research portfolio spans social science and health disciplines and is often collaborative and multidisciplinary. The CPC has a record of excellence in collecting, analyzing and disseminating complex longitudinal data in developing countries, access to a professional staff with proven skills in supporting international survey field work, and the ability to call upon experienced researchers from diverse disciplines to address the causes and consequences of child deprivation. The CPC was selected as the International Research Partner of the Transfer project through a competitive tender process.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)’s From Protection to Production (PtoP) project works in partnership with the Transfer Project, UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office and the Governments of Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe to conduct multi-country impact evaluations of cash transfers in sub-Saharan Africa. The project uses a mixed methods approach that combines econometric analysis, local economy Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) / Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) models, and qualitative methods. The project especially looks at household level agricultural production and labor outcomes, impacts on social networks (informal transfers) and multiplier effects in the local economy.

Key publications from FAO include:





Save the Children has been a leading NGO in the field of social protection since the early 2000s, combining analytical research with practical implementation and support for national systems. Through the work of the Childhood Poverty Research Centre, Save the Children UK, was one of the first organizations to produce substantial analytical work on social protection and children. Largely working with governments, Save the Children UK has substantial experience in the implementation of emergency cash programs and supporting development of longer-term transfer programs, including in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and Swaziland. Save the Children UK also supports/participates in a number of networks working on social protection including the Grow Up Free From Poverty Coalition, the African Civil Society Platform, and the IATT.

Key publications from Save the Children UK: