Research from Bangladesh shows development programs often have a bigger impact than we intend — or even measure.
We are a team of economists that evaluated the Transfer Modality Research Initiative — a pilot safety net program that provided cash or food transfers, with or without nutrition behavior change communication, or BCC, to poor mothers of young children in rural Bangladesh — to assess impacts on household food security and child nutrition.
We found that TMRI not only improved food security and nutrition, but also had a range of unintended benefits. The combination of transfers and BCC led to a sustained 26 percent reduction in intimate partner violence 6-10 months after the two-year program ended in 2014. It also led to improved nutrition knowledge and practices of community members who were not part of the program.
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Work cited in this blog was undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) under the Social Protection for Agriculture and Resilience research flagship. Funding support for the study "Transfers, behavior change communication, and intimate partner violence:Post-program evidence from rural Bangladesh" was provided by the Sexual Violence Research Initiative, the World Bank, and the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets. The study builds on research funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Shalini Roy is leader of PIM's research cluster "Social Protection Delivery and Outcomes".