The Effect of Cash and Complementary Services on Youth Exposure to Violence in Zimbabwe

Averi Chakrabarti , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Sudhanshu Handa, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Gustavo Angeles, National Institute of Public Health (INSP), Mexico and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
David Seidenfeld, American Institutes for Research

Violence against children is a clear violation of child rights and is a risk factor for adverse later life outcomes. Programs that alleviate poverty could, by addressing a structural determinant of child vulnerability, reduce child maltreatment and abuse. This paper uses data from the impact evaluation of Zimbabwe’s Harmonized Social Cash Transfer (HSCT) Program, which combines cash transfers with complementary services (information on and assistance with accessing child protection resources), to identify program effects on the victimization of young persons to physical violence. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find that the incidence of physical violence faced by youth in the treatment group is 19 percentage points lower than that faced by the comparison group four years into the program. The results build on a small and growing literature on the potential positive effects of unconditional cash transfers on youth exposure to violence.

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 Presented in Session 63. International Perspectives on Adverse Childhood Experiences and Child/Youth Well-being