The Malawi Social Action Fund (MASAF) is a social investment programme (SIF) that provides funds for District government and communities to invest in roads, health centres, schools, and income-earning activities.
The third phase of MASAF also includes a cash transfer component, plus support to community empowerment that is in line with the national policy of decentralisation. In association with Jimat Development Consultants (Zimbabwe) and O&M Associates (Malawi), we undertook the impact evaluation of the programme. The impact evaluation assessed contributions to the Millennium Development Goals, including changes in access to services, the effectiveness and targeting of the conditional cash transfers, and an institutional assessment of local government. The methodology involved reconstructing the baseline using available national datasets, plus a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods: A household survey of 1,500 respondents (treatment and control), a survey of 120 project committee members, focus group discussions on beneficiary satisfaction and, key informant interviews at national, local government and community levels. The household level data was analysed using difference-in-difference.Image © Building Villages_Itad