Multi-purpose and conditional cash-based transfers (CBTs) and public health among Syrian refugees

Grant awarded: £ 545,931

Lead organisation: Johns Hopkins University

Partnering organisations: UNHCR, Switzerland; Lebanese American University, Lebanon; Medair, Jordan; UNHCR, Jordan; UNHCR, Lebanon

Project length: 2017 -2019

Study locations: Jordan

Principal Investigator: Shannon Doocy


The study will assess effectiveness of cash transfers, including multi-purpose cash (MPC) and conditional cash transfers (CCTs) for health, among Syrian refugees in Jordan (MPC and CCTs) and Lebanon (MPC). The CCT component will follow a randomly sampled cohort of vulnerable hypertension and/or diabetes patients over the course of a year. The research will examine how MPC and CCTs for non-camp Syrian refugees affect: 1) health expenditures (quantity, debt); 2) health-seeking behaviour and health service utilization (frequency of care seeking, private vs. public); 3); and for CCTs, health outcomes (control of diabetes/hypertension).

Expected outcomes:

The study will allow for analysis of how provision of increased but insufficient funds through MPCs and CCTs are (not) used to address health needs by assessing household economy and spending patterns; health-seeking behavior and service utilization; and control of hypertension and diabetes (CCTs only).

In the longer term, results will be applicable to other non-camp middle income settings for refugees, internally displaced persons and other populations affected by humanitarian crises where there are insufficient interventions and/or cash available to meet basic needs. Through the qualitative research, improved understanding according to context regarding household and health decision making will allow for recommendations on how interventions can be tailored accordingly.


Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110).

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