Zambia Child Grant Program (CGP) Reports

A major impact evaluation of the CGP is currently underway and is being implemented by American Institutes for Research (AIR) ( The program is a categorical program, targeting all households in the three districts with a child under 5. Eligible households receive 55,000 kwacha a month (equivalent to U.S. $11) irrespective of household size, an amount deemed sufficient to purchase one meal a day for everyone in the household for one month. According to the MCDSS, the goal of the CGP is to reduce extreme poverty and the intergenerational transfer of poverty. The objectives of the program (as specified in the child grant manual)) are to (1) supplement and not replace household income; (2) increase the number of children enrolled in and attending primary school; (3) reduce the rate of mortality and morbidity among children under 5 years old; (4) reduce stunting and wasting among children under 5 years old; (5) increase the number of households owning assets such as livestock; and (6) increase the number of households that have a second meal a day. The MCDSS started the rollout of the CGP in Kalabo, Kaputa, and Shongombo, the three districts with the highest rates of mortality, morbidity, stunting, and wasting among children under age 5.

A quantitative baseline household survey was administered on a randomly selected, representative sample of program beneficiaries after their selection into the program but prior to their enrollment. The sample is unique for cash transfer evaluations in Africa because it contains a large number of children ages 5 and under, enabling the study to more readily detect small effects of the program among this age group. There are 2,515 households in the study, with 14,565 people; this number includes 4,793 children ages 5 and under, with the largest number under 1 year old (1,427).

The CGP impact evaluation relies on a randomized design to estimate the effects of the program on recipients. Communities designated by Community Welfare Assistance Committees (CWACs) were randomly assigned to either the treatment condition to start the program in December 2010 or to the delayed control condition to start the program at the end of 2013. The MCDSS decided to implement a randomly assigned delayed control group because it did not have sufficient resources or capacity to deliver the program to all eligible households immediately. Thus, the Ministry instituted a policy of randomly assigning communities to current or delayed treatment, deeming it to be the most ethical and fair way to select the order in which communities receive the resources as they became available. The first follow-up survey will be conducted in October 2012. Two further follow-ups are scheduled for April 2013 (to assess seasonality effects) and October 2013.

The evaluation of the CGP as well as the MCP described below is funded by a consortium of donors within Zambia including DFID, UNICEF, Irish AID, and the Government of Finland. PIs for the evaluations are David Seidenfeld ( and Sudhanshu Handa ( The Zambian-based PI is Gelson Tembo (University of Zambia; Questions about the evaluations of both the CGP and the MCP may be directed to Stanfield Michelo ( or Manzunzo Zulu ( of the MCDMCH in Lusaka.

  • CGP Baseline Evaluation Report
  • CGP 24-Month Impact Report (2013)
  • CGP 30-Month Impact Report (2014)
  • CGP 36-Month Impact Report (2014)

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