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Essay: The Role of Social Cash Transfer in Improving Livelihood and Food Security in Isoka District, Zambia

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  • Published: 1 February 2018*
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  • Words: 1,462 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 6 (approx)

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Hunger, poor nutrition, poor sanitation and, social violence can be seen as a result of poverty. When we talk about poverty we look at it to be the main cause of social, political, financial difficulties faced by elderly people, women and children in the rural communities. Vulnerabilities of urban people differ from those living in the rural areas due to their dependence on a money economy, a high cost of food and basic services, health and environmental hazards, substandard housing and tenure insecurity, and exposure to crime and violence. Compounding in addition to this they are faced with a number of social problems such as unemployment, school drop-out, illicit brewing leading to drunkenness, sexual exploitation of women and girls, child abuse, and a high prevalence of HIV and AIDS (Oxfam GB, 2009).

In recent years, Zambia has been faced with some economic hardships such that poverty has fragmented social development status in many parts of the country, and HIV/AIDS has had a serious leading hand to an extent that the increase in the numbers of people in Zambia leaving out many without having adequate support on nutrition, care, and social protection. A situation that additionally, led to rampant levels of orphans suffering due to lack of food in comparison to other privileged children, who have limited or no access to both education and nutrition. The introduction of Social cash transfer in the Zambian context, the government therefore meant to empower the most vulnerable individuals and communities especially the aged in Isoka District, who are keeping underprivileged children in order to aid in improving both their livelihood and supply of food security. Isoka is earmarked as one of the towns positioned in the northern part of Muchinga Province of Zambia near the boundaries with both Tanzania and Malawi. Moreover, this has been a challenge to draw the critical attention of studying role that Social cash transfer plays by taking Isoka as a comprehensive study of interest, it is strongly believed that most social cash transfers recipient households in the sense that the funds have not been consistently supportive and it is for this reason that this study delves deeper into highlighting the effective role of social cash transfers within the district of Isoka (Seidenfeld et al., 2013; Seidenfeld & Handa, 2011).

Within the predominant livelihoods and social development framework, the social governance framework for the study can base on the molds that social uplift networks, can be part of the defining moments for the well-being of most vulnerable households, that social cash transfers to the intended cause, can make the most vulnerable families tend to be self-reliance and thereafter enhance on their social status by acquiring some form of revenue generating projects, and that a change in accessing available of resources either in cash or project could positively affect the social network within the communities. All these mentioned factors can foster evaluations and challenges in our country in fighting poverty. Therefore, the researcher wants to find out more on the effect of social cash transfer in reducing household poverty within the district of Isoka in Muchinga Province of Zambia.

1.3 Research objectives
The principal purposes of indulging with this particular study is to fully understand, examine and expose effect of social cash transfer in terms of reducing poverty in the targeted households within the district of Isoka.
1.4 General objective:
The main objective of the study, the study boarded on this classical study which was undertaken to pursue the following universal objectives:
• To examine the role of social cash transfer program in enhancing household living conditions in the recipient households of Isoka District in Muchinga Province.
1.5 Specific Objectives:
In order to examine the stated problem, the researcher embarked on this model of study which was undertaken to pursue the following specific objectives:
1. To find out the business ventures that social cash transfer recipients are undertaking.
2. To find out the causes of most household poverty levels.
3. To asses household poverty situation.
4. To examine how household poverty affect before and after the implementation of social cash transfer
1.6 Research Questions
Based on the specific objectives the research pursued the response on the following research questions:
1. What are the benefits of social cash transfer to recipient households?
2. To what extent has social cash transfer reduced the poverty in most recipient households since project inception?
3. What can be done to reduce poverty levels in these recipient households?
4. Is social cash transfer doing enough interventions in terms of improving the quality standards of life?
1.7 Significance of the study
The assumption of the study will be that the targeted respondents in Isoka district that can provide most accurate and precise information without being subjected to any jot of biasness and predisposition mindset.
This study attempts to assess the role of social cash transfer in enhancing household living conditions. However, it will be gratifying to state that the main significance of the study would first of all be summarised as follows, the objective of study aimed to create awareness about the key importance of a sustainable livelihood in recipient households and supply feedback on the resulting effects of high levels of poverty characterised within the district of Isoka in Muchinga province of Zambia.
This further goes to foster a study that targeted on how poverty can bring about sluggish economic growth and how this can further cause poor socioeconomic development in the country as a result of low production and how it affects in shaping up major role of a perceived view of contribution factor to the Gross Domestic product (GDP) in Zambia. Secondly, is also to inform local residents and related stakeholders on the impact of an effective social cash transfer programme aimed at improving livelihoods of vulnerable people in society.
Finally, the researcher remains hopeful that the interest areas of this particular study will significantly contribute to the already existing body of knowledge by bringing out vital issues that might have been side-lined, shallow studied or overlooked about the implementation of social engagement program at household levels in Zambia.
To discover some of the reasons with this research, all participants that will be subjected to this study, will be asked to state their reason(s) or highlight effects based on their personal outlook as well as based on the secondary data and as a researcher will also expected to see responses that would be supplied in accordance with qualitative method of research.
The study sought out to expose on the effects of cash transfer stipend in enhancing household living conditions in the recipient households of Isoka District. The geographical scope of the study will be Isoka District of Muchinga Province. The beneficiaries include those who joined the scheme in the time frame between 2015 and 2018 within Isoka District. This period was chosen all because the scheme was first implemented earlier in the District in the year 2014 as a pilot project.
1.8 Limitation
The researcher encountered some challenges in carrying out the study due to global crisis of COVID-19 pandemic popularly known as Coronavirus, which has ravaged global economic situations and has led to limiting movements simply because of slow paced economic activities as a result of lockdowns. However, to this effect participants were equally difficulty to find owing to the nature of the targeted focus discussion groups and it was extremely difficult to assess the effectiveness of social cash transfer through just observations. There was also an over-run in budgetary allocations which occurred due to economic instability as resources were not enough to cover demanding needs, the prices of essential commodity were fluctuating and this negatively affected the study process. The researcher was further disturbed in the preparation of the research and had challenges printing questionnaires due to the erratic power supply currently being faced in the nation especially the rural Zambia which is greatly getting affected the most.
1.9 Theoretical Framework
Theories have strongly evolved pointing to incentive theory which clarifies that behavior is highly motivated by an organism’s desire for supports and rewards, and that this desire is what secure governance and policy behavior. Incentives in the environment to determine organisms’ behavior and patterns cover on the precept that social development goals emanate on political administration and public governance systems. This factor aims to achieve positive outcomes by increasing social knowledge, awareness and changing attitudes and the practice in making sure that important mediators of program impacts are driven from such social engagements. Many theories of social cash transfer program distinguishes that lack of knowledge in many communities, and this may have to undermine social program impacts and benefits, notably in terms of nutrition, income, education and healthcare (Browne, 2013: Bastagli et al. 2016).
Social cash transfer has a basis of minds to improve the well-fare of individuals and welfare of communities, is basically the delivery of cash as an alternative to in-kind social support to

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