Objectives: The Malawian Social Cash Transfer Scheme (SCT) is a social protection programme for ultra poor and labour-constrained households, including people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). We aimed to gain insight into respondents' circumstances prior to becoming transfer beneficiaries and to examine how PLWHA used transfers to support themselves and their families.
Methods: We conducted 24 semi-structured qualitative interviews with PLWHA who were also SCT beneficiaries and living in villages where the scheme was operational in 2008.
Results: Respondents were destitute and lacked food and basic necessities prior to the transfer. As cash recipients, the majority of respondents reported positive impacts on health, food security and economic well-being as well as an improved ability to care for their families.
Conclusion: Important unanswered programmatic questions persist, such as 'What is the appropriate transfer level?' And 'Should recipients graduate from the scheme?' Moreover, the scheme's long-term sustainability is still unclear. Nevertheless, this analysis presents evidence describing how PLWHA used cash transfers to improve their situation and mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on families.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.