We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have Giving Tuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.
For the team here at Datassist, giving directed towards immediate financial empowerment is our best choice. I like that it puts the decision of what they need most in the hands of the individual and household. Cash transfers seem to have positive impacts in many different settings across countries – including Canada and the US. In addition, cash transfers are one of the most carefully researched development pieces. And we are working hard to make sure that financial inclusion is also accurately and carefully researched.
Currently the research on cash transfers shows:
- Cash transfer reduces some major forms of IPV. Impact is 5 – 8% reduction of controlling behavior, physical and sexual violence. In terms of decision making, the women who started off with the least amount of power benefitted the most from the cash transfer.Women with low decision making are 11% less likely to experience controlling behaviour, 10% less likely to experience moderate physical violence, 5% less likely to experience severe physical violence and 11% less likely to experience any physical/sexual violence. However, women with high decision making power at baseline impact is much lower – closer to zero.
- A four-country study comparing cash transfers and food aid found that 18% more people could be assisted at no extra cost if everyone received cash instead of food.
- The evidence shows that cash in humanitarian settings can be effective at achieving a wide range of aims – such as improving access to food, enabling households to meet basic needs, supporting livelihoods and reconstructing homes. Cash allows for savings and can help families smooth their consumption.
- People tend to increase the amount and diversity of food that they eat.
- Cash can reduce the extent to which households resort to negative strategies to meet needs, such as dietary restrictions, child labor and dangerous work.
- Impacts have also been reported on social capital, as people are able to repay debts, host others and contribute to ceremonies.
- Cash impacts local economies and market recovery by increasing demand and generating positive multiplier effects.
- Evidence suggests that large grants increase future income.