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The Impact of a Conditional Cash Transfer on Multidimensional Deprivation of Young Women: Evidence from South Africa’s HTPN 068

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Abstract

Despite the growing popularity of multidimensional poverty measurement and analysis, its use to measure the impact of social protection programs remains scarce. Using primary data collected for the evaluation of HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 068, a randomized, conditional cash transfer intervention for young girls in South Africa that ran from 2011 to 2015, we construct an individual-level measure of multidimensional poverty, a major departure from standard indices that use the household as the unit of analysis. We construct our measure by aggregating multiple deprivation indicators across six dimensions and using a system of nested weights where each domain is weighted equally. Our findings show that the cash transfer consistently reduces deprivations among girls, in particular through the domains of economic agency, violence, and relationships. These results show how social protection interventions can improve the lives of young women beyond single domains and demonstrate the potential for social protection to simultaneously address multiple targets of the SDGs.

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Kilburn, K., Ferrone, L., Pettifor, A., Wagner, R., Gómez-Olivé, F. X., & Kahn, K. (2020). The Impact of a Conditional Cash Transfer on Multidimensional Deprivation of Young Women: Evidence from South Africa’s HTPN 068. Social Indicators Research, 151(3), 865–895. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-020-02367-y

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