Frequently Asked Questions

A list if answers to common questions.

Question 1: 1. Do you have to pay to be included in the Social Cash Transfer Programme?

No. SCTP is an unconditional social support intervention that does not require payment on the part of the beneficiary. However, selection of beneficiaries follows a targeting process.

Question 2: What are the SCTP selection criteria?

Eligibility criteria are based on a household being ultra-poor (unable to meet most basic needs: food, essential non-food items etc.), labour constrained (a household is labour constrained if there are no ‘fit to work’ members in the household, or if the dependence ratio of unfit-to-fit exceeds three). Household members that are defined as ‘unfit’ are those who are below 18 and above 64 years of age, or within the age bracket of 18-64 but have a chronic illness or disability, or otherwise unable to work.

Question 3: Are the Social Cash Transfer Programme and 'Mtukula Pakhomo' the same?

Yes. The Government of Malawi’s Social Cash Transfer Programme is locally known as Mtukula Pakhomo (the name for the programme in Chichewa).

Question 4: How do beneficiaries receive SCTP/ Mtukula Pakhomo information?

Official communication to beneficiaries is usually disseminated from the District Councils to members of the Community Social Support Committees (CSSC) who relay messages to the beneficiaries. District Officers are also able to engage directly with beneficiaries on payment days to interface informally and answer any questions that may arise then. 

Question 5: Does SCTP run any competitions or award money to ‘winner’ beneficiaries by sending them text messages?

The SCTP does not run any competitions, nor does it send any text messages to beneficiaries alerting them to having ‘won’ money from the SCTP.

If you receive such a text message, it is a scam, do not reply. Please report it to your District Officer on payday or to the Community Social Support Committee so that they can flag appropriately.

Question 6: How frequently are cash transfers made to beneficiary households?

Cash transfers to selected beneficiary households are delivered on a bi-monthly basis (in Districts currently pay Cash Transfers manually) and on a monthly basis (in Districts making Cash Transfers through e-payment) at coordinated pay points, within specific village clusters.

Question 7: Do beneficiaries receive any other assistance apart from Cash Transfers?

The SCTP provides beneficiary households with Cash Transfers. It does, however, also collaborate with other institutions and initiatives to allow for linkages to other social protection interventions that could assist beneficiaries to access further resources to improve the quality of their lives.

Question 8: When does an SCTP beneficiary graduate from the program?

Mtukula Pakhomo program beneficiaries enter into the program for at least four years. However, there are specific circumstances in which beneficiaries can no longer be part of the program, such as:

• The household moves out of the program area

• The household dissolves completely

• The household head decides to renounce as a beneficiary of the program

• The household graduates during re-targeting, when the eligibility criteria are no longer met.

Question 9: How can individuals who might have initially been excluded from the SCTP program qualify?

After SCTP beneficiaries have reached a four-year cycle, as per program regulations, a retargeting process is carried out to determine eligibility of incoming beneficiaries. New beneficiaries who fall under the criteria are then included into the program. You must meet the criteria (see FAQ 2) to qualify for the programme. 

Question 10: What channels can be used by SCTP beneficiaries to report their grievances?

Beneficiaries are advised to report any grievances to their CSSC members or to Case Management Officers at the pay point during transfers. CSSC members relay the grievances and any other issues to District Officers who record the grievance on the SCTP system and follow-up accordingly.