1st Edition

The Social and Political Potential of Cash Transfers

Edited By Maxine Molyneux Copyright 2017
    170 Pages
    by Routledge

    170 Pages
    by Routledge

    Cash Transfers, for all their notable successes, have been criticised for their limited ability to move poor households to provide sustainable routes out of poverty. This book draws on original qualitative research by leading scholars and development policy experts from a range of disciplines to examine whether cash transfers can have transformative spillover effects on individuals, households and communities. Case studies from Africa, the Middle East and Latin America show that, while there are limits to the sustainability of the transformations brought about by Cash Transfers, they can bring about changes affecting the social and political integration of very poor households. With chapters on Psycho-Social Wellbeing, Social Accountability and Social Capital, this comprehensive volume casts new light on the ongoing debates over the significance of the Cash Transfer ‘revolution’.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of The Journal of Development Studies.

    1. Can Cash Transfer Programmes Have ‘Transformative’ Effects? Maxine Molyneux, with Nicola Jones and Fiona Samuels

    2. ‘Being Able to Breathe Again’: The Effects of Cash Transfer Programmes on Psychosocial Wellbeing Fiona Samuels and Maria Stavropoulou

    3. Can Social Protection Affect Psychosocial Wellbeing and Why Does This Matter? Lessons from Cash Transfers in Sub-Saharan Africa Ramlatu Attah, Valentina Barca, Andrew Kardan, Ian MacAuslan, Fred Merttens and Luca Pellerano

    4. Accessing the ‘Right’ Kinds of Material and Symbolic Capital: the Role of Cash Transfers in Reducing Adolescent School Absence and Risky Behaviour in South Africa Michelle Adato, Stephen Devereux and Rachel Sabates-Wheeler

    5. Effects of Cash Transfers on Community Interactions: Emerging Evidence Sara Pavanello, Carol Watson, W. Onyango-Ouma and Paul Bukuluki

    6. From Social Accountability to a New Social Contract? The Role of NGOs in Protecting and Empowering PLHIV in Uganda Badru Bukenya

    7. Programming for Citizenship: The Conditional Cash Transfer Programme in El Salvador Michelle Adato, Oscar Morales Barahona and Terence Roopnaraine

    8. Pathways to Citizen Accountability: Brazil’s Bolsa Família Natasha Borges Sugiyama

    9. Transforming Cash Transfers: Citizens’ Perspectives on the Politics of Programme Implementation Nicola Jones, Bassam Abu-Hamad, Paola Pereznieto and Kerry Sylvester

    10. Understanding Social Accountability: Politics, Power and Building New Social Contracts Sam Hickey and Sophie King


    Maxine Molyneux holds a Chair in Sociology at University College London, UK, and has written widely in the fields of political sociology, gender studies and development policy, publishing books on Latin America, Ethiopia and South Yemen.

    Nicola Jones is a political scientist and Senior Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute, UK, with responsibility for the gender programme.

    Fiona Samuels is a social anthropologist and Research Fellow in the Social Development Division at the Overseas Development Institute, UK.