Productive Social Safety Net (TASAF III/PSSN) Study
The impact evaluation is an 18-month, mixed methods study to provide evidence on the effects that Tanzania’s Productive Social Safety Net (PSSN) has had on youth well-being and the transition to adulthood. The study was conducted among a sample of households comprising part of the fourth and fifth scale-up waves of the PSSN in 2015. For the study we conducted two waves of data collection: a baseline in August – October 2015 and an endline from March to May 2017. In both waves of data collection, quantitative and qualitative interviews were conducted with youths who were between the ages of 14 and 28 years at baseline (15–30 years at endline). The qualitative interviews were embedded in the quantitative study design, meaning that 16 youths from study households were selected to participate in in-depth qualitative interviews to help unpack pathways of impact and provide a deeper understanding of how the PSSN affects the lives of youth in participating households. At endline, households had received on average of 10 bimonthly cash payments.The PSSN is the flagship social protection programme of Tanzania and is implemented by the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF). As part of the main programme component, TASAF provides regular cash payments to participating households on a bimonthly basis (including an unconditional base transfer and additional amounts conditional on health check-ups and children’s school attendance). Additional components of the PSSN include livelihoods training and support and a Public Works Program (PWP) to supplement household incomes during the lean season. In 2015, TASAF successfully implemented a massive scale-up of the PSSN from 250,000 households to over one million nationally. As of 2017, the programme had reached 1.1 million households (10.5 per cent of the population) in Tanzania.UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti and Policy Research for Development(REPOA, Tanzania)have designed a rigorous mixed-methods impact evaluation to estimate the effects of Tanzania’s PSSN on youth well-being and the transition to adulthood. The study builds on learnings from the Transfer Project, a multi-organization consortium providing evidence on government-run cash transfers in Africa, with a focus on safe transitions to adulthood for youth. The evaluation utilizes a cluster randomized control trial (RCT) design, where TASAF randomized a total of 102 villages (on the mainland and in Zanzibar) into three arms: 35 villages to receive the conditional cash transfer (CCT), 26 villages to receive the CCT plus PWP, and 41 villages to receive the control condition (delayed entry after 18 months). The youth study sample from this evaluation consists of 1,357 youths in 801 households at baseline and 1397 youths in 766 households at endline (for a total of 1751 unique individuals over the entire survey period). Additionally, the qualitative study sample consists of 17 youths who were administered in-depth interviews. The youth study for which results are reported here is being conducted in conjunction with a REPOA study to examine the impacts of the PSSN on women’s empowerment. Data collection for the women’s empowerment and youth portions were carried out by REPOA separately at baseline and simultaneously at endline by the same enumerator teams. Simultaneously, a parallel impact evaluation is also being conducted in separate geographical locations by the World Bank with Tanzania’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Office of Chief Government Statistician (OCGS) to examine PSSN programme impacts related to poverty, food security, health utilization and related outcomes.
Youth surveys were conducted among household members aged 14–28 years (N=1,357) at baseline in 2015, and again at approximately 18 months follow-up among youth aged 15–30 years (N=1,397). Due to the sensitive nature of many topics, interviews were conducted in private locations (in Swahili) where other household members could not hear what was being discussed and were administered by same-sex enumerators. Based on the conceptual framework, the quantitative survey was multi-topical and included outcomes such as sexual debut and risky sexual behaviour, pregnancy, marriage, school attendance, aspirations, mental health, violence and future aspirations. Furthermore, data were collected on potential moderators of programme impacts, including propensity to take risks and perceived social support. Wherever possible, survey items were pulled from existing national survey instruments such as VACS, DHS, and WHO Multi-Country Study on Domestic Violence and Women’s Health. In addition, similar youth modules have been previously implemented by the Transfer Project in countries such as Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe and questionnaire design reflected learning from these evaluation experiences.