Impact of conditional cash transfer program on household consumption in Kitui County
Oduor, Wilson Onyango
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Conditional cash transfer programs have turned out to be an important element of social policy in developing countries. Conditional cash transfers are noncontributory programs that focus on the poor and vulnerable households. Such programs are aimed at reducing poverty and inequality, enable enhanced human capital investments, improving social risks management, and offering social protection. Although the impacts of these programs have well been researched in regard to their usefulness to achieve intended outcomes, the dilemma is whether conditional cash transfer programs have been successful or not in bearing significant fruits in the fight against poverty and general welfare of the targeted households within Kitui County. This study therefore, intended to assess the impact of conditional cash transfer program on household consumption in Kitui County by using secondary cross sectional survey data from Kenya Food Security and Outcome Monitoring comprehensive study on household post distribution monitoring for the period 2013 and 2014. Conducting the study in Kitui County was driven by the fact that the region has high poverty level (63.5 percent) relative to Kenya’s average level of 45.9 percent. More so the county benefits from conditional cash transfer program. The study focused on a number of variables that affect consumption. Evidence on consumption expenditure was the first step to test whether the outcome of this study is attained. The results established from household consumption expenditure were compared with the results of project objective outcome so as to test out their consistency. Checking components of consumption based coping strategies allowed for checking indirectly whether the program reached its stated aim of reducing the impact of shock among beneficiary households. Non-experimental research design using propensity score matching estimation approach was used to evaluate the program impact on conditional cash transfer program on consumption expenditure and consumption based coping strategies among beneficiaries. The results showed that conditional cash transfer program, through cash transfer have a significant effect on improving household consumption by impacting positively on household consumption expenditure and protecting the household from adverse coping mechanisms.