Cash transfers are direct payments, often from governments, made to eligible groups of people. There are three main categories of cash transfers: an unconditional cash transfer (UCT): a cash transfer made without any conditions required for the recipient; a conditional cash transfer (CCT), which is made on the condition that the recipient meets specified criteria such as school attendance or receiving vaccinations; and a labeled cash transfer (LCT), in which funds are indicated, or “labeled,” for a specific purpose, but the conditions are not enforced. IPA has evaluated on all three types of of cash transfer programs in different contexts.

Advances in payments technology have the potential to improve the efficiency of slow and corrupt public welfare programs.


A multifaceted livelihood program that provided ultra-poor households with a productive asset, training, regular coaching, access to savings, and consumption support led to large and lasting...