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Principal Investigator: Shannon Doocy, Johns Hopkins

Research Snapshot: Can cash transfers help Syrian refugees manage diabetes?

This is the first of two Research Snapshots summarising findings of the research. This snapshot focuses on Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs).

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Research Snapshot: Multi-purpose cash and health among Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon

This is the second of two Research Snapshots summarising findings of the research. This snapshot focuses on Multi-Purpose Cash Transfers (MPCs).

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Photo credit: UNHCR / Mohammad Hawari

What did the study set out to achieve?

The research undertaken in Jordan investigates the effect of cash assistance and health education on health-seeking behaviour, service utilization, and clinical outcomes for diabetes to inform health sector program design for current and future humanitarian responses.

In recent years, cash assistance has rapidly expanded in the Syrian refugee response in Jordan and Lebanon, as well as in global humanitarian programming. This study examined the effects of Multi-Purpose Cash Transfers (MPCs) on health-seeking behaviour, health service utilization, and health expenditures to provide much-needed evidence to inform use of cash transfer programs in current and future humanitarian responses.

 

What were the key findings?

Study findings suggest that conditional cash or a combined cash and health education intervention are promising strategies to support diabetes control among refugees; but that MPC alone is insufficient to achieve improvements in the health of refugees with diabetes.

While MPC may have some positive effects, findings were mixed and MPC appears insufficient on its own to address health utilization and expenditures. Though MPC should not be considered as a stand-alone health intervention, some findings may be positive for humanitarian response financing, given the potential for investment in MPC to translate to savings in the health sector response.

 

What does this mean for policymakers and practitioners?

When considering cash transfers and NCDs, humanitarian agencies implementing largescale unconditional cash transfer programs should consider targeted top-ups for individuals with chronic diseases to reduce financial access barriers to medication and care.

Organizations working in the health sector should continue community health education interventions and where possible, provide conditional cash or coordinate with others providing cash transfers to maximize benefits.

Related Resources

Peer Reviewed Cash Transfers

Improving diabetes control for Syrian refugees in Jordan: a longitudinal cohort study comparing the effects of cash transfers and health education interventions

Peer Reviewed Cash Transfers

Multi-purpose cash transfers and health among vulnerable Syrian refugees in Lebanon: a prospective cohort study

Briefing Note Cash Transfers

Multi-Purpose Cash Transfers and Health among Vulnerable Syrian Refugees in Jordan and Lebanon

Briefing Note Cash Transfers

Conditional Cash Transfers for Syrian Refugees with Diabetes in Jordan

Latest Updates

Can Cash Transfers Help Syrian Refugees Manage Diabetes?

Mar 2021

In this blog, Shannon Doocy, Associate Professor in the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health describes which combination of interventions resulted in the most effective diabetes treatment for Syrian refugees based in Jordan.

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2021Mar

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