K4D Helpdesk Report

Conflict-sensitive cash transfers: social cohesion

Published on 8 September 2017

The literature suggests that the effects of social protection initiatives such as cash transfers and vouchers on social cohesion are positive, but there is very little empirical evidence to back this. This review found no research comparing cash transfers and vouchers from the perspective of social cohesion. However, experience of cash transfers in developing countries, including post-conflict contexts, indicates that these can help promote social cohesion but can also undermine it by creating divisions between beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries. Targeting is a critical factor in determining impact. Universal basic income (UBI) schemes (universal, unconditional transfers) are being tried in a number of largely developed countries. Evidence from those and pilot schemes in developing countries suggests that UBI could promote social cohesion.

Cite this publication

Idris, I. (2017). Conflict-sensitive cash transfers: social cohesion. K4D Helpdesk Report 201. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.

Publication details

published by
Institute of Development Studies
Idris, Iffat


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