Evaluation of the Child Development Grant Programme (CDGP)

We are working with DFID on the Child Development Grant Programme to test an approach to reducing widespread poverty, hunger and malnutrition.


  • Andrew Kardan


The Child Development Grant Programme (CDGP) is a six-year UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded pilot programme (2013–2019) in Zamfara and Jigawa states in northern Nigeria.  The programme offers an unconditional cash transfer aimed at tackling the economic causes of inadequate dietary intake, and a counselling and behaviour change campaign aimed at influencing maternal and childcare practices.

The programme provides a cash transfer of Nigerian Naira 4,000 per month for up to 100,000 pregnant women and women with children under the age of two years for a period of approximately 33 months, targeting the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. This predictable cash transfer is expected to contribute to increased food security and improved intake of more nutritious food, leading to improvement in child nutrition.

Alongside the cash transfer, communities in the programme are provided with education and advice about nutrition and health, through a behaviour change component. This campaign is intended to influence key areas of knowledge and practice, including breastfeeding and infant diets, and is designed to address men and influential members of the community as well as those women who are the direct beneficiaries of the cash transfer.

The programme is implemented by Save the Children and Action Against Hunger in five local government areas: Anka and Tsafe in Zamfara State, and Buji, Gagarawa and Kiri Kasama in Jigawa State.


Poverty, hunger and malnutrition are widespread in northern Nigeria, with 77% of the population reportedly poor and over half of children under five stunted. Infant mortality is 40% higher than the national level and maternal mortality rates are three times the national rate. Moreover, 20% of women are undernourished (DFID Business Case, 2013).

Our approach

The evaluation of the CDGP is intended to help understand the impact of the programme on those households and communities it supports. It relies on information collected using different methods that together provide the evidence for the evaluation. These methods include:

  • An initial situation analysis that provides a strong contextual understanding of the poverty, as well as the social and cultural dynamics of the households and communities in the selected areas.
  • A household survey before the programme had started (baseline), one following two years of implementation (midline) and one towards the end of the programme (endline) to help us determine the effect of the programme on child nutrition, and the knowledge, attitudes, and wellbeing of those reached by the programme.
  • A process evaluation that looks at how the programme was implemented, and identifies the factors that supported or weakened the implementation of the CDGP and how these factors may affect the potential impacts of the programme.
  • A longitudinal qualitative module that follows a small group of households receiving the programme over time. Through individual discussions, it explores the participants’ views about the programme and its impact on their lives, particularly on issues that are more difficult to capture in the household survey. This will be combined with a series of group discussions with community members to deepen understanding of the impact of the programme and whether it has led to changes in attitudes or behaviour.


The aim of this evaluation is to provide evidence on the impact of the CDGP on the wellbeing of households reached in those communities covered by this programme.

More specifically, the evaluation will establish whether the programme results in changes in household food security and maternal and child health practices with the aim of reducing malnutrition.

The evaluation will also explore the unexpected outcomes and impact of this intervention.

Areas of expertise