Policy Takeaways: The Role of Cash Transfers in Preventing Suicides in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
There is academic consensus that mental health disorders are influenced by the economic circumstances faced by individuals and that certain anti-poverty programmes (like cash transfer programmes) can alleviate mental health disorders such as depression. This policy brief explores emerging literature that suggests that these effects also extend to reducing suicides.
Results from two recent studies on conditional cash transfer programmes (CCTs) in Indonesia and Brazil suggest that the effects of CCTs on suicides are large, long-lasting, and stronger for poor individuals and, potentially, women.
In this brief, researcher Enrico Guizzardi and Winnie Mughogho review evidence on whether small monetary costs can reduce take-up of preventive health behaviours, the role of non-monetary hassle costs, and whether messaging can encourage taking up interventions despite monetary or hassle costs.
In this policy brief, researcher Giulio Schinaia discusses how cash transfers can play a role in mitigating some of the negative effects of school closures during and after the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Research is still ongoing on how to incorporate behavioural messaging to increase investments in education.
In this brief, researcher Mahreen Mahmud discusses the impact of cash transfers on intimate partner violence against women. Existing evidence can aid in the design of cash transfers programmes as well as inform potential behavioural add-ons to reduce the risk of violence.
In this policy brief, researcher Lukas Hensel discusses incorporating social norms-based messaging strategies (messages describing how the majority of people behave or reflecting their approval of certain behaviours) in cash transfer programmes to increase compliance with public health guidelines.
In this policy brief, researcher Marta Grabowska discusses adding reminders (e.g. SMS, pre-recorded voice messages) into cash transfer programmes. Reminders can be a way to promote adherence to preventative guidelines as well as facilitate the formation of the required habits and behaviours of people.
In this policy brief, researcher Axel Eizmendi Larrinaga discusses adding certain messages to cash transfers could help promote resource-sharing between community members. Promoting resource-sharing can expand the reach of social assistance to vulnerable households that have been excluded.
In this policy brief, researcher Emma Riley discusses using “labels,” salient messages mentally linking a transfer to a particular purpose. Labels can guide people in the intended use of a cash transfer and provide a clear structure for when, how, and for how long transfers will be available in order to allow people to plan effectively.