We choose to provide unconditional, rather than conditional, cash transfers for two reasons.

First, empowering the poor to make their own decisions advances our core value of respect.

Second, imposing conditions requires costly monitoring and enforcement structures be put in place. One detailed estimate put the administrative costs of a conditional cash transfer scheme as high as 63% of the transfers made over the first three years of the program (Caldes, Natalia, and John Maluccio. “The Costs of Conditional Cash Transfers.” Journal of International Development 17 pp. 151-168, 2005).

Our read of the existing experimental evidence comparing the impact of conditional to unconditional transfers is that there is little evidence to suggest these added costs produce commensurate benefits.

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