The sustainability of social cash transfers among rural women : a case study of Choongo community welfare action committee (CWAC), Zambia.
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Women, especially in rural areas and urban informal settlements are striving on a daily basis to secure a livelihood. They face the hardships of life and have little chance in nutrition, education and better health service. In this regard, Social Cash Transfers are funds given to vulnerable households to uplift lives and in the long run foster development. These studies attest to the fact that Social Cash Transfers in their current form are not sustainable in uplifting livelihoods among rural women. This study set out to investigate the sustainability of social cash transfers among rural women using Choongo CWAC as the case study. A descriptive research design using mixed-methods approach was employed for this study. The sample size for the study was 122 respondents. Simple Random Sampling method was used to select 114 respondents who were female past beneficiaries of SCTs program while Purposive Sampling method was used to select 6 participants for FGD and 2 Social Welfare District Officers as Key informants for in-depth interviews. Self-administered structured questionnaires were the main research instruments used to collect quantitative data while interview guides were used to collect qualitative data. The quantitative data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21 and qualitative data was analysed thematically. The study established that SCTs did not uplift the livelihoods of rural women using various areas like education, were 11% (n=12) felt uplifted, health, 10%(n=11) felt uplifted Nutrition, 9%(n=10) felt uplifted and Investment 5% (n=6) felt uplifted in addition the SCTs also came erratically and the amounts very meagre as was discussed in the FGD and verified by the key informants. In the area of decision making, a majority of respondents made decisions over SCT in conjunction with male relatives in the household which stood at 91% (n=104). It was also discovered that most of the times negative coping mechanisms which included selling previously owned items, consuming fewer meals in a day and getting essentials on credit were used. The study recommended a raise in amounts of SCTs received, consistency in the payment dates and clear exit strategies if the SCTs were to sustain the rural women’s livelihoods
The University of Zambia