This paper analyses data from a qualitative study undertaken with children and their families in two cash transfer programmes (CTPs) in Pakistan. Using a three-dimensional child well-being model that distinguishes material, relational and subjective dimensions, it argues that CTPs have helped extremely poor families sustain their basic dietary needs and marginally increase their health spending. Additional conditional payments have led to increased primary school enrolments, but CTPs have failed to address the distinctive vulnerabilities of children, including their nutritional needs, relational well-being and social status. A more holistic and child-sensitive approach to social protection would be the way forward to improve child well-being in line with the United Nations Charter on Rights of Children (UNCRC) to which Pakistan is a signatory.
- cash transfer programmes; well-being; poverty; children; Pakistan