Transforming Financial Impact of Subsidy Transfers

Project Brief

The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) is an independent policy and research center dedicated to advancing financial access for the world's poor. Housed at the World Bank, CGAP provides market intelligence, promotes standards, develops innovative solutions and offers advisory services to governments, microfinance providers, donors, and investors.

CGAP has been evaluating the link between government to people (G2P) transfers and financial inclusion since 2009, with a particular focus on investigating the long term impact of direct electronic bank transfers on population groups that were until recently unbanked. CGAP approached Quicksand to design and conduct an ethnographic study that would help understand the end-recipient experience and the manner in which direct transfer of social benefits is impacting their everyday lives.

Quicksand's Role

The main activities for Quicksand were to conduct an ethnographic study of G2P Digital Cash Transfer Recipients and Last-Mile Agents, produce case studies of CSPs and other Last-Mile Agents in the Digital Cash Transfer Ecosystem, and summarize technology experiences for Beneficiaries and Last-Mile Agents.

The ethnographic research was framed within a larger research initiative by CGAP which included a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the operations of the service providers (banks, post offices, business correspondent agencies) and a large scale quantitative research to quantify the impact of electronic benefit transfers on the lives of people. These were conducted by external project partners.


The findings from the study were presented to CGAP and extended stakeholders such as Department of Rural Development, SERP, UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India). These findings were captured in a set of printed collateral that can be availed in the links below.

Related Projects