Research indicates that cash transfers have increased the income of poor households. Less is known about the impact of ‘big push’ interventions which aim to shift households out of poverty through comprehensive packages of complementary interventions (e.g. combining productive asset transfers, skills training and consumption support).
Experimental research on a cash-transfer programme in Ghana that combines cash transfers with supervision, health insurance, training and financial access demonstrates several positive effects one year after intervention among households receiving support: these households consumed 11% more than households that did not receive any support (the control group); their savings were three times higher; and on average they earned 50% more than the control group. In addition, employment among programme recipients shifted towards non-farming activities more often than among control group households. These benefits represent a 133% return on the investment made in the intervention.
The programme was not successful on all fronts, as no reduction in stress or improvement in well-being was observed and the decision-making power of women over food decreased.