Innovative child rights research recognised by annual UNICEF accolade
OPM’s impact evaluation of a cash transfer scheme in Lesotho wins entry into Best of UNICEF Research 2015.
The third edition of UNICEF’s research awards has just been published, and an OPM project to evaluate the Government of Lesotho’s Child Grants Programme (CGP) has been included on the prestigious list.
The awards aim to increase learning across UNICEF and its partners, reward exceptional research in the development field and highlight best practice for others to follow in future. A number of diverse programmes are selected each year, with focuses from the global to the country level.
Luca Pellerano, Senior consultant at OPM and project lead, said of the award: ‘We’re delighted that our programme has been recognised in this way. At OPM we pride ourselves on the rigorous research we produce, and the evidence this gives to policy makers so they can make more informed decisions. The award is a credit to the hard work of the team and the success of this approach’.
The OPM-led project ran between 2010 and 2014, and was commissioned to evaluate the impact, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the CGP as part of government considerations to roll out the programme nationally.
Despite significant economic growth in the past 20 years, much of Lesotho’s population remains in poverty. This is especially true for households that include orphans and other vulnerable children. The CGP was therefore established to specifically target these groups, by providing unconditional cash grants to poor and vulnerable households.
The study involved two rounds of surveys which compared a representative sample of CGP recipients and a control group of households who did not receive the grant. This was supplemented by more qualitative research in the form of interviews with various CGP stakeholders.
Findings from the project are now being used by the government to assess the role of the CGP and will be part of the decision making that leads to the first social protection strategy in Lesotho, potentially extending its impact to many more vulnerable children.