Cash Transfer Perceptions and Spending Patterns in the Context of an Incentive-Based HIV Prevention Trial in Tanzania

Laura Packel, University of California, San Francisco
Jan Cooper, University of California, Berkeley

Conditional cash transfer programs, if effective, can both incentivize a desired behavior or behavior change, and slow the intergenerational transfer of poverty through providing increased income. This assumes that the cash awarded for engaging in (or avoiding) the conditioned behavior is spent on goods and services that positively impact the beneficiary and his/her family—e.g., purchasing health care rather than alcohol or cigarettes. To further our understanding on spending patterns of beneficiaries of cash transfers, this paper uses both qualitative and quantitative data from a randomized, controlled HIV prevention trial of cash transfers conditional on negative STI tests in Tanzania. We find significant differences in spending patterns and perceptions by gender and by amount of cash award received. There is also evidence from in-depth interviews that some respondents invested the award money in their business and the income this generated both motivated and enabled them to further avoid unsafe sex.

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Presented in Poster Session 1