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Strengthening the impact of South Africa's COVID-19 Social Relief Distress Grant among unpaid caregivers of adolescents living with HIV

The COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to control it have threatened livelihoods, introduced new workplace risks and made unstable work relationships even more precarious, especially for women. This project will evaluate a cash transfer called the Social Relief Distress Grant, plus a gender-transformative economic livelihoods intervention for improving psychological well-being and gender equality among women caregivers of children and adolescents living with HIV (CALHIV) in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

The research approach will consist of a randomized trial among HIV clinic caregivers of CALHIV. Intervention clusters will receive a monthly cash transfer and the gender/livelihoods intervention while the control clusters will receive only the monthly cash transfer. Qualitative interviews will assess the feasibility, acceptability and cost-effectiveness of the intervention. Among the impacts assessed will be psychological well-being, intimate partner violence, depressive symptoms, gender attitudes and earnings. Results will improve understanding of economic livelihood-based interventions in strengthening caregivers’ psychological well-being. The evidence generated will help to strengthen the current government’s COVID-19 recovery efforts.

This project is supported by Women’s health and economic empowerment for a COVID-19 Recovery that is Inclusive, Sustainable and Equitable (Women RISE), a partnership between IDRC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Its aim is to support global action-oriented, gender-transformative research by teams of researchers from low- and middle-income countries and Canada.

Project ID
Project Status
24 months
IDRC Officer
Qamar Mahmood
Total Funding
CA$ 985,217.00
South Africa
Global Health
Global Health
Women RISE
Institution Country
Simon Fraser University
Institution Country
South Africa
South African Medical Research Council