Costing Unconditional Cash Transfers Technical Brief

  • Date Posted: November 13, 2019
  • Authors: CGillum
  • Document Types: Primer or Brief
  • Donor Type: US Agency for International Development

This brief outlines an approach for estimating the financial costs of cash transfer programs. It discusses the ways in which various targeting approaches and design parameters can affect the financial costs of a program. The brief also provides a framework for estimating the cost of scaling-up cash transfer programs by outlining the differences between costing pilots and full-scale programs. Analysis of socioeconomic (normative) costs is beyond the scope of this study, but policy considerations should hinge on full cost analysis of alternative approaches and their implications for the financial and socioeconomic costs of a program. This is particularly important when designing cash transfers for HIV-affected populations where the risk of stigmatization is high and social solidarity is integral to achieve developmental impact.