The cash transfer program was effective in reducing the prevalence of HIV and HSV-2 in unmarried school-aged girls currently attending school in Malawi. There was no significant reduction of HIV or HSV-2 prevalence for school-aged girls who dropped out of school. Additionally, there were no significant differences in the type of intervention, conditional versus unconditional cash transfer for school-aged girls currently attending school, except in one outcome, whether the school-aged girl was currently pregnant.
The replication researchers conducted a number of robustness checks of the publication. In their theory of change analysis, they examined a potential causal pathway for the intervention in reducing HIV and HSV-2 prevalence. The results show that the intervention is affecting HIV and HSV-2 prevalence partially through school enrollment and selected sexual behaviors.
In addition, they generate wealth index and HIV awareness variables to determine if the intervention effect differed depending on wealth or on HIV awareness. They determine HIV awareness is not related to the intervention. They found that the unconditional cash transfer compared to control is highly effective in reducing HSV-2 and HIV prevalence when family wealth (e.g. the mother alive or father is alive) is low.
In the measurement and estimation analysis, the replication researchers find the robustness of the results to be more sensitive to the model choice for HIV, where there were few cases, but less so with HSV-2. The replication researchers conclude that additional research should be performed to confirm the effectiveness of cash transfer programs in reducing HIV and HSV-2 prevalence.
The authors of this paper replicated a landmark study by Hayes and colleagues (2019) on the HPTN 071 (PoPART) trial, which examined if a universal test and treatment program, along with a combination prevention intervention, could reduce HIV incidence in Zambia and South Africa.
Eric Djimeu and Eleanor G Dickens conduct a replication of the HPTN 052 study by Cohen and colleagues that evaluates the impact of early initiation of antiretroviral therapy on rates of sexual transmission of HIV-1.
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and Social Security Pension are two of the largest employment programmes in Andhra Pradesh. Muralidharan and colleagues (2016) investigated the impacts of biometrically-authenticated payment infrastructure (Smartcards) on beneficiaries of the two employment programmes.
This replication study starts with the twin strategies of push-button and pure replications of the original study. It then followed this up with various consistency and
robustness checks, such as propensity score matching and the Tobit model specification.