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The gender, social and cultural influences on the management and use of unconditional cash transfers in Niger: a qualitative study

  • Jennifer Scott (a1) (a2), Caroline Marquer (a3), Fatou Berthe (a4), Eric-Alain Ategbo (a5), Rebecca F Grais (a3) and Céline Langendorf (a3)...
Abstract
Abstract Objective

The current qualitative study aimed to identify gender, social and cultural influences on the management and use of unconditional cash transfers as part of a prospective intervention study in Niger.

Design

In February to March 2012, focus group discussions and semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with female caregivers of children aged 6 to 23 months who received unconditional cash transfers. Discussion and interview transcripts were analysed using content thematic analysis.

Setting

The study was conducted in the Madarounfa district in Maradi region of Niger.

Subjects

Among forty-eight intervention villages, fourteen were selected for the qualitative study. Participants were randomly selected from eligible households.

Results

In total, 124 women participated in focus group discussions or interviews. The majority reported giving the cash transfer to the male head of household who primarily managed cash at the household level. Women reported using a portion of the money to purchase foods for the target child. Feeding the household was the primary use of the cash transfer, followed by health care, clothing, gifts or ceremonies.

Conclusions

Gender, social and cultural norms influenced management and usage of the cash transfer at the household level. The results highlight the importance of integrating gender-sensitive indicators into interventions. Information and awareness sessions should be an integral component of large-scale distributions with a special emphasis on gender equality and the importance of women’s empowerment to improve agriculture and family health.

Copyright
Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: Email jscott3@bidmc.harvard.edu
References
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Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
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