There is a difference between a low-cost program and a cost-effective program. Implementing a low-cost program is not sufficient - we want to ensure that the impacts of the program are measurable and that the benefits outweigh the costs - this is what makes a program truly cost-effective. Putting these two parts of the equation - costs and benefits - together, we can estimate the value for money of our program.
No Lean Season, a late-stage program in the Beta incubation portfolio, provides small loans to poor, rural households for seasonal labor migration. Based on multiple rounds of rigorous research showing positive effects on migration and household consumption and income, the program was delivered and tested at scale for the first time in 2017. Results showed that the 2017 program did not have the desired impact on inducing migration, and consequently did not increase income and consumption. In this post, we dive deep into these results and explain how they are shaping the path forward for No Lean Season.