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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2019 Thailand: Thailand Child Support Grant (CSG) Impact Evaluation Report



Executive summary

Description:

Technical support for Targeting effectiveness and Evaluation Strategy and Quantitative Impact Evaluation Design and Implementation monitoring of the Support Grant in Thailand.

Overview:

In April 2015, the Government of Thailand announced its decision to introduce an unconditional Child Support Grant for children up to one year of age living in poor and nearpoor households across the nation to improve the status of young children in the country, particularly in relation with their nutritional status. In May 2015, approving the CSG for implementation, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Yuthavong made clear the importance of credible evidence in both initiating the programme and guiding its future development. The programme was announced, designed and implemented at an unprecedented pace – rolling out within six months of the approval and implementation decisions. In March 2016 (six months after the first disbursement), the government expanded age-eligibility to cover the initially eligible children for an additional two years (up to the age of three, from the initial age limit of one year), with an increase in the benefit value to THB 600 per month effective October 2016 (one year after programme commencement).

Purpose/ Objectives:

This is a country led evaluation, with the financial support of UNICEF and Thai Health Promotion Foundation (THPF), and with the quality assurance from UNICEF evaluation experts. The Department of Children and Youth in the Ministry of Social Development, with the technical and financial support of UNICEF Thailand and the THPF, commissioned an innovative coalition of research partners to build the evidence base requested by the Deputy Prime Minister. This nationally- led impact evaluation was designed to provide policy-level inputs for improving the programme’s effectiveness and efficiency in these early years, to maximise the impact on key outcomes for young children. This integrated quantitative-qualitative impact assessment report focuses on assessing the achievements of the CSG against expectations from the programme in the short and mediumrun (based on the Theory of Change). It also aims to identify areas for improvement in terms of programme design and implementation to enhance the programme’s impact, efficiency, and effectiveness. The study relies on the quantitative and qualitative data collected through the baseline and endline data collection processes.

Methodology:

The coalition of research partners included the Thailand Development Research Institute, KhonKaen University, and the Economic Policy Research Institute. UNICEF and the autonomous state agency Thai Health Promotion Foundation funded the evaluation. While this complex multi-stakeholder arrangement increased the institutional challenges, it both consolidated broad ownership of the research process and expanded the available resources to support the large sample indicated by the power analysis (about twice the size of typical cash transfer evaluations). The evaluation team developed a design guided by four key principles that would best enable the evidence to influence transformational policies.

Recommendations:

To strengthen the programme’s ability to generate the intended outcomes, improve implementation effectiveness and enhance targeting accuracy, this evaluation identified a set of core recommendations:

  1. The government must consider progressively expanding the grant to provide universal coverage for age-eligible beneficiaries to minimise inclusion and exclusion errors.
  2. To provide holistic coverage and support, the government must gradually increase age eligibility to cover all young children.
  3. It is imperative to regularly revise the benefit value in line with inflation (at a minimum), to protect programme success and continue to maintain the purchasing power of the grant.
  4. There is an urgent need to overcome the implementation barriers emerging from lack of inter-departmental coordination, which is translating to implementation ineffectiveness on the ground. Enhancing inter-ministerial cooperation at the national level, ensuring join accountability and translating those to changes at the grassroots level is imperative to ensure consistent implementation
  5. The provision of training and capacity building activities for implementers at the Tambon level and building a cadre of officials to support the implementation of the CSG is critical to ensuring consistency of programme delivery across regions and over time.
  6. Cash alone is not enough to generate widespread impact. It is imperative to link the cash transfer to essential services and facilitate these linkages while ensuring with high-quality service provision to translate increases in income to outcomes for health, nutrition or education and other sectors.

Infographic:

A nationally-led impact evaluation designed to provide policy-level inputs for improving the programme's effectiveness and effectiveness and efficiency in the early years to maximize the impact on key outcomes for young children. Read how the Child Support Grant impacted vulnerable children and their families in Thailand, here.

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Report information

Year: 2019

Region: EAPR

Country: Thailand

Type: Evaluation

Theme: Child Support

Language: English

Sequence #: Thailand/60/2019/15050

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