The Social Cash Transfer program is one of the programs under National Social Support Programs which implement the consumption support pillar. The program targets the bottom 10 percent of the poverty strata who are ultra-poor and labor constraint.

The overall objective is to contributing towards reducing poverty and vulnerability and enhancing resilience among ultra-poor and labour constrained households through payment of regular unconditional cash transfers

The objectives of the program are:

  • To contribute to national efforts to reduce poverty and hunger among ultra-poor and labor constrained households,
  • To increase school enrolment and attendance of children living in targeted households
  • To improve health, nutrition, protection and well-being of vulnerable children in target group households.


The program receives financial and technical support from Government of Malawi (GoM), the German Government through Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), Irish Aid, the World Bank, European Union (EU), UNICEF and International Labor Organization (ILO).

Program Coverage

The program is in all the28 districts and is currently reaching 292,518 beneficiary households and 1,242,611 beneficiary members. The Graph shows coverage and

Coverage by Donor

Characteristics of Program Beneficiaries Households Head

Program outputs

  1. Targeting

Targeting processes are supposed to be done every 4 years. The data for targeting is imported from the Unified Beneficiary Registry where the poor, poorer and poorest are subjected to labor constraint criteria.      

  1. Transfers

The program uses the MIS to deliver transfers and reconciliation. Transfers are paid bi-monthly in all districts except Ntcheu and Balaka which pays monthly through electronic payment. The average transfer amount is MK9,000. In addition to household amount the program also pay school bonus of MK 1,000 for any primary school going children and MK2,000 for secondary school going children.

Transfer Levels

Vertical and Horizontal Expansion

The programs also respond to the shocks (natural disaster) through vertical expansion where additional funds are disbursed to the existing cash transfer beneficiaries and through horizontal expansion where additional households are supported with the cash transfers. The amount of the VE and HE transfers depends on EVAC  calculation.

  1. Case Management

The program has a comprehensive and automated Case Management System. Every change in the beneficiary structure is recorded on forms and processed in the MIS (changes to the transfer amounts are adjusted automatically upon entry of updates).


  1. Monitoring and Planning

The program implementation in the district is continuously monitored by the central level secretariat through the MIS and field visits and the district council.

  1. School Enrolment

One of the objectives of the SCTP is to increase school enrollment of children from households’ beneficiaries. Annually, the program undertakes school verification exercise to check if those children reported enrolled to school are actually going to school. The program provides school bonuses to those households whose children are going to school.  

  1. Linkages and Federal

To insure sustainability of the SCTP program objectives and to enable graduation of beneficiaries the program links the beneficiaries to addition support.

  1. Impact of the SCTP

The program has undergone impact evaluation done by the University of North Carolina and University of Malawi. Some of the impacts of the SCTP include:

  • Improved health and nutrition: over 80% of HHs reported intensified food diversity with meat and fish and 45% use of dairy products.
  • Education: increased school enrollment from 87% - 95%, retention, improved performance; decrease in stigma
  • Food Security: buying food is a priority for most households to after receiving transfers and 90% of HHs purchased livestock - ownership of livestock increased by 7 times
  • Economic multiplier effect: cash received by beneficiaries is used in the local community
  • Improved housing and living conditions
  • Decreased Child labour in beneficiary HH

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