Human Development Cash Transfer - Behavioral Work - Impact Evaluation 2016-2018
Baseline and Midline Surveys
Other Household Survey [hh/oth]
The Human Development Cash Transter (HDCT) impact evaluation includes 3 surveys - a baseline, midline, and endline survey of the program. The baseline and midline surveys, documented here, were conducted from August to December 2016 and May to July 2018 respectively by ideas42. The endline survey was planned for 2020, but was never resumed due to COVID-19.
The Government of Madagascar (GOM), through the Ministry of Population, Social Protection and Promotion of Women (MPSPPW) and the Social Development Fund (FID) is implementing a Human Development Cash Transfer (HDCT) program in partnership with the World Bank (WB). The program targets selected geographical areas and provides bi-monthly cash transfers to extreme poor households (bottom 30th percentile in the income distribution) with children through primary school age (0-10 years). The cash transfer is designed to provide both short-term income support and to leverage longer-term family investments in children’s human development, notably core elements of early childhood development, nutrition and formal education. A portion of the cash transfer is conditioned on regular primary school attendance while an unconditional transfer coupled with encouragement to attend child nutrition and development sessions is provided for households with younger children not yet in primary school. The cash transfer also accompanies various community leader-led informational modules on family well-being, health, nutrition, and sanitation. ideas42 is partnering with the World Bank’s Madagascar Social Protection Team to support the GOM in designing and implementing a rigorous impact evaluation that meets its policy needs by clarifying the effectiveness of the HDCT program. An important focus of the evaluation is in piloting certain community participation, behavioral science, and motivational interventions that may improve the effectiveness of the program and help guide its ultimate scalability.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
v01: Edited, anonymous datasets for public distribution
The baseline and midline household surveys and the Malawi Development Assessment Tool (MDAT) are two important data sources for the evaluation. The baseline and midline surveys collect information on the Human Development Cash Transfer (HDCT) beneficiaries’ pre-program and mid-program socio-economic wellbeing including household consumption, assets, parenting behaviors, child educational development, and other key outcome measures. The MDAT assesses child developmental status across four domains: gross motor, fine motor, language, and social abilities.
Early Childhood Development, Nutrition, Education, Health, Cash Transfer, Consumption, Madagascar
51 communes across Madagascar
Extremely poor households (bottom 30th percentile of income) with children ages 0-10 (primary school age)
Producers and sponsors
Saugato Datta, PhD
The World Bank Group
The World Bank
Technical assistance in questionnaire design
Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund
ideas42 is running this impact evaluation of a conditional cash transfer program in Madagascar for 51,000 households from 2016-2019. It is a three-level cluster randomization design. There are three intervention effects we want to measure:
1. The effect of the Cash Transfer (commune level)
2. The additional effect of the Mother Leader (ML) group program (village level)
3. The additional effect of the Nudges (village level)
4,485 households were sampled for the baseline survey. For the MDAT, 3,366 households were eligible (have at least one eligible child) and surveyed using MDAT. The endline will be the full 8,222 households, but the baseline enabled us do basic randomization checks and provides some information on the vulnerable population for the government before the 3-year experiment ends. Given these constraints, our approach to baseline sampling was as follows:
1. Sampled from all 309 treatment villages (surveyed 7-8 randomly selected eligible households per village).
2. For pure control, randomly sampled 65 villages total. This meant sampling 5 villages from each of the 13 control communes, with 9-10 people from each village. This is because cash is evaluated at the commune level – there are 110 control villages, and we did not necessarily need to go into all of them. Since there are 13 control communes, we needed to sample from about 5 villages from each commune, with 9-10 people from each village. That is roughly 600 people from 65 total villages. Other important notes are that four of the 13 control communes had only five eligible villages. One of the communes only had three villages, so five villages per commune was the only realistic sampling ceiling.
3. We randomly selected 3,000 eligible households and only did the MDAT (the early childhood cognitive development measure instrument) for households that had children ages 2-6. That said, once we had the household list for the baseline, we could pre-select with which of the children in a given household we could conduct the MDAT.
For absentee respondents/refusals/not found, field enumerators had a backup list of randomly selected households from which could replace the absentee household. Field followed order of the randomly generated backup list systematically to prevent the introduction of any bias into the sampling process.
For additional information on the sampling, please refer to the 'Human Development Cash Transfer Sampling Approach Brief' available for download.
Field enumerators were trained by CAETIC développement (CAETIC), the survey implementing agency. The field enumerators were pre-selected on the basis of various criteria, including but not limited to intellectual, physical and moral capacity. For the baseline, several sessions of training and refreshing were realized due to various changes and delays caused by security and implementation challenges. For the MDAT, training lasted 15 days with the support of an international expert in Early Childhood Development from ideas42. At the end of the training, pre-selected field enumerators’ capacity were assessed and certified. Only certified enumerators were allowed to administer the MDAT. Before surveys were launched, the government implementation agency responsible for implementing the HDCT program, Fonds d’Intervention pour le Développement (FID), introduced ideas42 and CAETIC to all the local district offices. Local FID staff then made announcements and introductions to their communities as needed for each context (introduction to local chiefs and elders). The baseline survey was conducted in Malagasy and lasted an average of 52 minutes per household. Challenges faced in survey implementation include accessibility issues (safety, poor weather), hesitance of respondents to engage with field enumerators, and difficulty in estimating the ages of children. These were mitigated by careful introduction of all field enumerators to local chiefs and elders. Enumerators also traveled in daylight and in groups to mitigate security concerns.
The survey was conducted electronically and incorporated automatic checks which minimized the error rate. The local implementing survey firm, CAETIC, cleaned all the data and ensured that the format was consistent before submission to ideas42 and the World Bank for analysis.
Independent Malagasy Survey Firm
The HDCT Baseline and Midline Surveys: The baseline and midline surveys were designed by pulling key questions used in other national-level surveys carried out in Madagascar by INSTAT (Institut National de laStatistique de Madagascar), as well as in other relevant surveys conducted in Africa (e.g., World Bank surveys). They covered topics such as household demographic information, education, food and non food-related household consumption, general household expenses, agricultural production, sources of household revenue, women’s empowerment, parenting practices and food security. The HDCT baseline survey was approved by the National Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) in charge of the technical secretariat of the CCISE (Committee of Coordination of the Statistical and Economic Information) in Madagascar before it was implemented. The baseline survey was published in English and French and is available to download. The midline survey is provided in French and is also available for download.
The Malawi Developmental Assessment Tool (MDAT): The MDAT (Gladstone et al 2010) is a child development assessment survey specifically designed for a rural African context and is publicly available for adaptation to multiple countries. We (1) adapted this tool to a Malagasy context, creating a Madagascar-specific tool that can be used by future researchers and early childhood development specialists to assess developmental status and (2) used this tool to conduct a baseline assessment of child developmental status for the HDCT program. The MDAT assesses child developmental status across four domains: gross motor, fine motor, language, and social abilities. The MDAT survey received a non-objection from the Ethical Committee of the Ministry of Public Health before implementation. This survey was also published in English and Malagasy and is available for download.
CAETIC développement, the survey implementing agency, led the data processing for this study.
Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund
The World Bank Group
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Saugato Datta, PhD (ideas42) and Laura Rawlings (The World Bank Group). Madagascar - Human Development Cash Transfer - Behavioral Work - Impact Evaluation 2016-2018, Baseline and Midline Surveys. Ref: MDG_2016-2018_HDCTIE-BL-ML_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from [URL] on [date].
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.