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The Transfer Project is a multi-country cash transfer research initiative.


Established in 2008, the project is a collaborative network between UNICEF, FAO, University of North Carolina, national governments, and local research partners.

The Transfer Project is a thought leader on cash transfers in Africa.

We go beyond measuring typical economic outcomes to find out if and how cash transfers impact other aspects of people’s lives.

Our Goals

Provide rigorous evidence on the effectiveness of large-scale national cash transfer programmes in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

Use this evidence to inform the development of cash transfer & social protection policies & programmes via dialogue & learning.

What We Do

We provide technical assistance in the design, implementation and analysis of Government programmes in over a dozen countries.

We engage in dialogue with policymakers and processes from regional to international levels to ensure coordinated efforts, uptake of results and to promote learning.

We host a regional workshop to promote cross-country learning and have a dedicated capacity-building mandate across our activities.

Cash Transfers

  • Increase household productive capacity and resilience
  • Create household and local economy spill overs
  • Increase school enrollment and attendance
  • Improve mental health and life satisfaction
  • Delay sexual debut and reduce intimate partner violence

But evidence gaps still exist: our future studies will help close these gaps.


UNICEF supports the design, implementation and evaluation of social protection across the globe. UNICEF Country Office Social Policy Specialists serve as key links to national policy dialogues and provide technical assistance to Governments. The UNICEF Office of Research—Innocenti Social and Economic Policy Unit leads mixed-method evaluations of cash transfer impacts on household, adolescent and child wellbeing (including safe transitions, schooling, health, productive activities), and leads in-depth research agendas on cash plus, humanitarian settings, and gender dynamics.

Selected through a competitive tender process, the Carolina Population Center (CPC) at the University of North Carolina is the Transfer Project’s International Research Partner. Working on path-breaking research in 85 countries, the CPC has a record of excellence in collecting, analyzing and disseminating complex longitudinal data in developing countries, and has a wide bank of experienced researchers from diverse disciplines. UNC researchers lead and support mixed-method evaluations across diverse topics.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) works in partnership with the Transfer Project, providing both research and technical assistance at the country level. FAO researchers use a mixed method approach that combines econometric analysis, local economy Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) / Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) models, and qualitative methods. Research focuses on household level agricultural production, resilience and labour outcomes, impacts on social networks and multiplier effects in the local economy.


The Transfer Project collaborates with national governments and national research institutes on a country basis, please visit country pages for further information. Transfer Project was established with the help of Save the Children UK who formerly acted as our advocacy partner.