Lessons Learned: “Cash Transfer Plus"
Kwa Wazee

Lessons Learned: “Cash Transfer Plus"

The Kwa Wazee project "Cash transfer and psychosocial support for older people and their grandchildren" in Nshamba (Tanzania) gives evidence that cash transfer (as financial capital) has the potential to build human capital and social capital. While “human capital” designates the ability of people to be productive, i.e. to acquire skills, knowledge and physical and other capabilities, the core idea of the concept of “social capital” is that if the amount of human interaction increases, people are more likely to help one another and to start identifying and defending their rights.

Pierre Bourdieu, one of the fathers of the concept, stresses the value of a “durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition." (Bourdieu, “Forms of Capital’ 1983, p.249).

As stated in the Kwa Wazee "Narrative Report 2009" a number of protective arrangements have been developed based on and facilitated by the Kwa Wazee cash transfer programs:

  • Formation of mutual support groups. In the adult programs the mutual support centers mainly around savings and support in periods of illness (to cook, contribute with food, firewood, to bring people to the hospital or dispensary, to care for the grandchildren while the caretaker is sick) but increasingly also on income generation. The mutual visits play also a big role. In the Tatu Tano program (organizing grandchildren) the mutual support centers more around household chores (fetching water, collecting firewood, weeding) and income generation. The cash transfers seem to release energy which enables the people to look beyond their own immediate needs.
  • Nearly all groups - children and adults – formed saving groups. The cash transfer makes it possible to make a small saving which can be used for protective and productive activities.
  • People told us that they are now able to return in relationships of reciprocity (with neighbors, friends etc.), because they have now something to offer and to contribute. These relationships of reciprocity are a central mechanism for social protection and risk management.
  • We know from the impact assessment in Kwa Wazee that the internal relationships between grandparents/grandchildren have improved which might release and even create additional energy and open new ways for intergenerational cooperation. (2009)
Lessons Learned “Cash Transfer Plus".pdf — (141 kB)