A comparative assessment of the impact of unconditional cash transfers for urban vulnerable households headed by elderly and non-elderly women in Mucheke ward 2 of Masvingo.
MetadataShow full item record
In line with global trends Cash Transfers (CTs) are increasingly replacing in-kind assistance (such as food and seeds) across all sectors of humanitarian and development assistance in Zimbabwe. This study focused on assessing the impact of unconditional cash transfers in addressing the needs of vulnerable urban household headed by elderly women in Mucheke ward 2 of Masvingo. The study also sought to identify the needs and the coping strategies employed by the vulnerable urban household headed by elderly women. The study is a non-intervention descriptive study carried out on a small scale. It emerged from the study that remittances are dwindling for these households and at the same time dependency ratios are on the increase. Those receiving cash transfers are being innovative as they invest some of the cash into small income generating initiatives. It further emerged that the needs of the vulnerable urban elderly and non-elderly women are insufficiently met by the small amount of cash transfer which is more often than not unpredictable and inconsistently provided. Backdating of the cash transfer entitlements affects the labour constrained. It was also observed that utility bills for the 55% of vulnerable urban household headed by elderly women gobble more of resources that the beneficiaries generate. The introduction of cash transfers improved social cohesion and household relationships and allowed women to make decisions on the use of the money. The study concluded and recommended that: Government, NGOs and donors need to work together to identify appropriate solutions to ensure that transfer values remain consistent in all locations, for example by building in reasonable allowances for exchange rate fluctuations into budgets. This also applies to those organisations whose budgets are not formulated in US Dollars. Computations for cash transfer entitlements should consider the beneficiary needs in line with the survival and or the livelihood promotion thresholds since the current cash transfers are too small to meaningfully leverage incomes for the vulnerable urban households headed by elderly and non elderly women. The cash transfer contributes 15% to the household income for the vulnerable urban elderly women and 21% to vulnerable urban household headed by the non-elderly women. There are some positive as well as negative impacts that have been realised as a result of cash transfers but more needs to be done in terms of reviewing the cash transfer entitlements as well as the CT policy framework which is good on paper (rhetoric) to be practically applied and supported. Comparatively, for two vulnerable groups, the assessment has shown that the cash transfers are modestly contributing to these households’ income but would be better if the amount is increased to a standard that can lift the beneficiaries from the survival threshold to at least the livelihood protection threshold.