Gender norms and the Mauritania Social Transfer Program


Study description

There is increasing interest in how pairing cash transfers with programing to change unequal gender norms has potential to increase intra-household cooperation and prevent IPV. Trinity’s Impact Evaluation Unit and the World Bank’s Africa Gender Innovation Lab are conducting a randomized control trial to measure the effects of adding a couples and community-based intervention to Tekavoul, a social safety net program in Mauritania. Tekavoul aims to reach 100,000 extremely poor households to protect them from severe deprivation and to support human capital investments. It provides approximately USD 50 every three months for a period of five years, as well as social promotion activities addressing hygiene, nutrition, education, civil registration, and child development. Payments are made to the person in charge of the daily health, nutrition and education of the children in the household, usually the first wife of the male household head or the female household head. In the experimental evaluation, married couples who are Tekavoul beneficiaries will be randomized to receive one of the following treatments: (1) a six-month training on intra-household cooperation (2) same as the first arm, plus a six month training on concepts of gender, power and violence prevention (3) same as the first arm plus public screenings of short videos on gender, power and violence prevention and (4) control. This study adds an embedded in-depth qualitative data collection to enhance the learning opportunities from the quantitative impact evaluation, in particular to answer the following questions: (1) How does the cash transfer and gender norms programming affect participating individuals, households and communities? (2) How do communities respond to encouragement for more collaborative household resource management and greater gender equity in the context of a cash transfer program? (3) What are the mechanisms of impact and how do they vary across different family structures or social groups, as well as across different version of the IPV prevention programming?

Lead researchers

Michael King & Tara Bedi (Trinity College), Rachael Pierotti, Julia Vaillant & Diana Milena Lopez Avila (World Bank), Katherine Wiley (Pacific Lutheran University)

Intervention (country)

Mauritania Safety Net Program: Tekavoul (Mauritania)

Study design

Embedded qualitative research (complementing a randomized controlled trial)