Qualitative study of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) plus program on IPV


Study description

Since its inception in 2005, the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) has been a cornerstone of the Ethiopian government’s strategy for poverty alleviation and rural development. The PSNP provides food or cash transfers targeted to poor households in the form of payments for seasonal labor on public works or as direct support to households whose primary income earners are elderly or disabled. With more than 7 million beneficiaries, the PSNP is one of the largest social protection programs in Sub-Saharan Africa. To strengthen the program and expand its impacts, complementary livelihood, nutrition, gender and natural resource management activities were implemented through an integrated program called Strengthen PSNP4 Institutions and Resilience (SPIR) Development Food Security Activity (DFSA). A randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted to measure the causal impact of key activities of the SPIR DFSA program on livelihood, food security, nutrition, and women’s wellbeing, including IPV. As a complement to the main impact evaluation, a qualitative study was embedded to explore the following research questions: (1) How does cash for work affect pathways through which cash could potentially affect IPV? (2) How do certain complementary activities, such as male engagement in the nutrition BCC, contribute to enhancing (or not) pathways? (3) How does including men in complementary programming contribute or not to reducing intra-household conflict or improving household dynamics? (4) How do men respond to women’s empowerment or an increase of their respectability or status in the community? (5) In what way does the group-based process of delivering the complementary programs appear to matter for ultimate impacts and how does it compare with individual mode of delivery?

For more information: IFPRI SPIR Ethiopia Project Page

Lead researchers

Melissa Hidrobo (IFPRI), Ana Maria Buller & Meghna Ranganathan (LSHTM), Wastina Sintayehu & Seifu Tadesse (JaRco Consulting)

Intervention (country)

Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) plus (Ethiopia)

Study design

Embedded qualitative research (complementing an RCT)

Related Publications

cover image of publication
Cash plus programming and intimate partner violence: a qualitative evaluation of the benefits of group-based platforms for delivering activities in support of the Ethiopian government’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP)
Buller, Ana Maria; Pichon, Marjorie; Hidrobo, Melissa; Mulford, Michael; Amare, Tseday; Sintayehu, Wastina; Tadesse, Seifu; Ranganathan, Meghna. 2023

Series: BMJ Open
IFPRI descriptor:Ethiopia: PSNP
Journal article
Our study offers important insights into the mechanisms by which the group-based delivery of plus activities affects intermediate outcomes on the pathway to IPV. It underscores the importance of the modality of delivery in such programmes, and suggests that policy-makers should consider gender-specific needs as men and women might differentially benefit from interventions that enhance social capital to generate gender transformative impacts.

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cover image of publication
Government of Ethiopia's public works and complementary programmes: A mixed-methods study on pathways to reduce intimate partner violence
Ranganathan, Meghna; Pichon, Marjorie; Hidrobo, Melissa; Tambet, Heleene; Sintayehu, Wastina; Tadesse, Seifu; Buller, Ana Maria. 2021

Series: Social Science and Medicine
IFPRI descriptor:Ethiopia: PSNP
Journal article
This publication uses mixed methods to examine whether and how the Ethiopian government's public works programme alongside complementary activities that engage women and men affected intimate partner violence.

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