Program scale and cost

Costs of African CT programs

Long-term cost of CTs is determined in part by the number of beneficiaries reached, transfer size and frequency, and labor intensity of administrative procedures. CCTs require additional expenditures to monitor conditions. Larger initial investments are required of programs with efficient management information systems (MISs) and targeting systems, but they provide returns in program efficiency and scalability. Fortunately, small pilots may be tested to discern cost-efficiency of certain design features. Generally speaking, overall CT costs are difficult to determine. They include the cost of targeting, transfers, transfer delivery, and monitoring, as well as costs to beneficiaries to fulfill conditions or otherwise participate in the program (Coady, Pérez, and Vera-Ilamas 2000). Analyzing CT costs in light of their potential short- and long-term benefits is important, along with a comparison of the costs and benefits of other alternatives that would be implemented in lieu of a CT program.