This study aims to assess the role of delivery mechanisms (cash or mobile money) and of privacy of information for improving women’s economic empowerment and reducing Intimate Partner Violence. Evidence suggests that transfers given out as mobile money can generate greater impact on women’s economic empowerment and reduced Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) compared to cash. Moreover, privacy is often mentioned as a potential mechanism through which digital finance may lead to better outcomes for women. However, sparse evidence exists to experimentally test the differential impact of mobile money over cash transfers while assessing the role of privacy of information as a causal mechanism leading to women’s economic empowerment and reduced incidences of IPV.
This study is amongst the first RCTs to experimentally test this hypothesis, targeting 2000 refugee and host couples in Kiryandongo and Kyegegwa districts (5 experimental groups) of Uganda. Women in all treatment groups will receive an unconditional transfer of UGX 200,000 as cash or mobile money. The study aims to explore the differences among the treatment groups in terms of women’s control over her personal and household finances, household decision making, marital trust, women’s agency, IPV and other economic outcomes including engagement in income earning activities. Findings of this study will contribute in shaping policies concerning delivery of social assistance and messaging surrounding the delivery, to achieve desired impacts on women's economic empowerment and IPV.