AIR’s Evaluation of Zambia’s Cash Transfer Program Named Best UNICEF Research Study of 2014

Washington, D.C. – An American Institutes for Research (AIR) study looking at Zambia’s cash transfer program has been selected by UNICEF as one of the best research studies of 2014. AIR principal researcher David Seidenfeld was the lead co-author of Zambia’s Child Grant Program: 24-Month Impact Report.

Sixty-five studies commissioned by UNICEF were reviewed for this year’s award and 12 were selected as finalists. AIR’s was one of two papers that ultimately received the recognition. Experts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Zambia and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also co-authored the report.

“We feel very honored by UNICEF’s recognition of our work and the importance of the study,” Seidenfeld said. “We are particularly encouraged that the Zambian government used the findings to help make evidence based decisions about a program that improves the food security and quality of life for extremely poor households.”

The report found that cash transfers generated positive impacts for children under five. The two-year randomized control trial found dramatic improvements in the amount of food and clothing going to infants and young children in high poverty families. The study also found a 50 percent increase in the total value of crops produced by households receiving the aid.

AIR led the study of 2,515 households in three remote districts with the highest rates of extreme poverty and mortality among young children. UNICEF Zambia hired AIR to design and conduct the study of the program’s effectiveness.

To read the full report, visit

Zambia cash grants provide poverty relief and sustainable growth

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. For more information, visit