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Rigorous research in humanitarian emergencies is not only feasible but also necessary to determine what constitutes effective assistance in these settings. This column introduces a Special Issue of the Journal of Development Studies which demonstrates that research establishing causal effects is vital for the design of efficient and effective social protection in settings of fragility and displacement.

Celebrating 10 years of building evidence for action on cash transfers in Africa, the Transfer Project’s latest multi-stakeholder workshop in Arusha, Tanzania recently gathered social protection experts from 20 African countries. Attended by government representatives, NGOs, academics, and donors, the workshop facilitated cross-country learning, dialogue and debate to inform the development of social protection policies.

The Transfer Project is a collaborative research and learning initiative between UNICEF, FAO, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and national research partners. The project aims to promote evidence generation, capacity building and inform development of programs and policies via regional dialogue in Africa. Every 1-2 years, policymakers, researchers and development partners get together…

Cash transfers are promising interventions to reduce intimate partner violence (IPV), but more evidence is needed to better understand their effects in both development and humanitarian settings. This was the main message from a side event at the 63rd Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) in New York March 13.…

How do we know if a programme made a difference? The answer to this question is not as straightforward as it seems, because we never know what would have happened without the programme.

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