Causal Design & Mercy Corps Partner to Investigate Cash Transfers in Humanitarian Response

Last year Causal Design partnered with Mercy Corps to investigate the impact of various operational models for dispersing cash grants after a natural disaster. Specifically, we wanted to see if the frequency of cash disbursements, offering of financial literacy training, or sending reinforcing voice messages had any impact on the way families spent their grants – or navigated the recovery process.

We will begin analyzing the data and testing our hypotheses in the coming month. However, before we dive into the data we wanted to let everyone see our pre-analysis plan.  In addition to sharing it on our site, the plan has been submitted to AEA & RIDIE. Don’t know what a pre-analysis plan is? Take a look at David McKenzie‘s World Bank blog post.

Click the image to download our pre-analysis plan

Pre-Analysis Plan

Stay tuned for more updates on this project in the coming months.

More information on the intervention below and in this Fact Sheet:

In early 2014, Mercy Corps partnered with BPI Globe BanKO, a branch-less mobile bank, to open savings accounts and deliver unconditional cash transfers (UCTs) of PhP 3,950 (approximately 88 USD) to over 25,000 households severely impacted by typhoon Haiyan. The transfers were scheduled for disbursement in three payments, PhP 2000, 1200, and finally 750 (approximately 45, 27, and 16 USD, respectively), between June and September 2014. The program utilized a completely mobile platform to deposit secure cash transfers to savings accounts provided to all beneficiaries. In addition to the UCT, participants received a brief one hour overview of financial literacy principles through a local consulting company, the Microfinance Innovation Center for Resources and Alternatives (MICRA).  For a specific subset of beneficiaries, Mercy Corps aimed to add to the initial financial literacy overview by providing targeted voice messages consisting of further financial information and promotion of savings behavior.

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