This paper reviews the evidence regarding the impact of conditional cash transfer (CCT) programmes on child nutrition outcomes. It was found that CCT programmes significantly improve child anthropometry but have very little impact on micronutrien status. The programmes also have a positive impact on several of the outcomes in the pathways to improved nutrition. Gaps in knowledge about the mechanisms by which CCT programmes improve nutrition were found. Programmes need to have a better defined set of nutrition actions grounded in programme theory in order to reach their potential.
The evidence suggests that CCT programmes provide a potentially powerful delivery mechanism for improving child nutrition. However if CCT programmes are ever to reach their full potential, they will need to have clearer nutrition objectives, a better defined set of nutrition actions, an implementation and integration plan grounded in a strong programme theory framework, and an effective monitoring and evaluation system.