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Gender Social Norms and the Mauritania Social Transfer Program


  • Researchers:
    • Dr. Diana Milena Lopez Avila, Dr. Tara Bedi, Dr. Markus Goldstein, Prof. Michael King, Dr. Julia Vaillant 

  • Partners:
    • World Bank; Government of Mauritania 

  • Location:
    • Mauritania 

  • Sample:
    • 2,000 households 

  • Timeline:
    • 2020 - 2022 

  • Theme:
    • Gender Social Norms 

  • Description:
    • To meet its long-term poverty reduction goals, the Government of Mauritania decided to complement its traditional food-based response with targeted interventions to protect the chronically poor and invest in their human capital. Tekavoul (Solidarity in Arabic), a nation-wide social cash transfer program, reached 100,000 extremely poor households to protect them from severe deprivation and to support human capital investments. Beneficiaries received MRO 15,000 (USD 50) every three months for a period of five years, conditional on participation in social promotion activities addressing hygiene, nutrition, education, civil registration, and child development. Payments were made to the person in charge of the daily health, nutrition and education of the children in the household, usually the first wife of the male household head or the female household head. 

      The Trinity Impact Evaluation Unit and the Africa Gender Innovation Lab at the World Bank conduct a randomized control trial on the effects of adding to Tekavoul a) couples empowerment training and b) community interventions on female empowerment, spousal cohesion and ultimately, welfare outcomes. The objective of this research is to understand the impact of integrating interventions on gender social norms in anti-poverty programs on household welfare and gender empowerment. More specifically, it aims to test whether addressing gender social norms at the household- and community-level helps maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of a cash transfer program. The research collects and analyses data on women’s empowerment, intra-household cooperation, prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV), and welfare outcomes