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Conditional Cash Transfers: Morocco

Morocco’s implements a conditional cash transfer program to increase school attendance in rural areas (2008–present)

April 24, 2024
Author: Molly Hickey, Bryony Steyn

Morocco’s Tayssir conditional cash transfer program was launched in 2008 to increase primary school attendance amongst children aged 6 to 12. The program targets low-income families living in rural areas. After a pilot program from 2008 to 2010 found positive results in reducing the dropout rate and increasing school enrollment, the Tayssir program expanded across the nation in 2010. By 2022, the program provided cash transfers to the families of 2.3 million children and has proven successful in increasing both primary and secondary school attendance, particularly for girls.

Although Morocco made significant improvements in both increasing the rate of enrollment and completion of primary school between the 1970s and 2000s, improvement stagnated by 2006 as harder to reach children (typically from low-income families in rural areas) were unable to access and complete primary school. In rural areas, up to 40 percent of children did not complete primary school in 2006.1 While schooling is both free and mandatory, many children still face challenges completing their education due to family expectations that require them to contribute to the household income by working.2 

To increase the number of children completing primary school in rural areas, the Ministry of Education launched the Tayssir Program in 2008. The Tayssir Program is a cash transfer scheme which targets municipalities with a poverty rate above 30 percent. Parents with children of primary school age from 6 to 15 years old are provided with a cash transfer every two months in exchange for the enrollment and regular attendance of their children at school. Typically, primary education is completed at 11 years old, however, the program goes up to the age of 15 in order to accommodate older children to complete their primary education. If a child does not have 80 percent attendance for any given month, that month’s transfer is not paid. Parents of children in grades 1 and 2 are provided with MAD 60 (USD 8) per month; children in grades 3 and 4 given MAD 80 (USD 10) per month; and, children in grades 5 and 6 given MAD 100 (USD 13) per month. Payments are made every two months and cover more than the cost of primary education, estimated at MAD 180 (USD 24) a year.3 


The Tayssir Program was piloted between 2008 and 2010 in five of the poorest regions in Morocco with high dropout rates at the primary school level.4 The pilot was conducted with 320 primary schools and their surrounding communities. By the end of the pilot, 609,000 children were beneficiaries of the Tayssir program.5 

The initiative kicked off with an awareness campaign targeting parents of school-age children, headmasters, and school committees, orchestrated by the Ministry of Education.6 Of the 320 primary schools and local communities, 60 were in the control group and given no cash transfer, 80 were given an unconditional cash transfer, and the remaining 180 were given conditional cash transfers. 

The conditional cash transfer group was split into three groups with different levels of monitoring the conditionality.

  • In the light monitoring group, the teacher recorded attendance in a register.
  • In the intensive group, this was supplemented by random inspector visits. 
  • In the full monitoring group, attendance was automatically recorded via daily fingerprints.7 

Of the parents that received cash transfers, half were mothers and half were fathers, which were randomly selected. Evaluations of the pilot scheme were carried out to monitor the  impact of conditional versus unconditional cash transfers on primary enrolment and completion. Following the evaluation (discussed in the “Assessment” section below), Tayssir was rolled out at the national level to target all municipalities with a poverty rate above 30 percent. As part of the final program, the Ministry of Education dispenses bi-monthly cash payments to either parent conditional on school enrollment and regular attendance. In 2021, Tayssir was quickly scaled up in response to COVID-19 and supported the parents of 2.6 million children.8 In 2022, 2.3 million children were covered by Tayssir.9 


In 2022, the nationwide program cost the government MAD 1.6 (around USD 160 million).10


The pilot program had a positive impact on school attendance. Unconditional cash transfers were reported to have the most significant effect on increasing school enrollment and decreasing dropout rates, regardless of whether they were distributed to the mother or father.11 The increase in school attendance had the most notable effect on girls, who saw their secondary school enrollment rise by 7 percent, compared to the overall increase of 4.5 percent for both genders. Studies suggest that the pilot program also strengthened parents’ belief in the positive returns to education, which may have been part of the reason for the increased school attendance.12 It was reported that after participating in Tayssir, parents were more likely to believe that education would lead to employment and higher incomes for their children. This is likely due to the fact that government programs which incentivize education signal its importance.13

The program continued to increase children’s school enrollment once it was scaled up nationwide. There have been numerous studies on the impact of Tayssir. According to Novafrica’s report in 2018, the Tayssir program played a crucial role in reducing the annual school dropout rate by 41 percent among children participating in the initiative. Remarkably, this effect was particularly significant for girls, with their dropout rate decreasing by 50 percent. In comparison, boys experienced a 36 percent reduction in their dropout rate. Additionally, the Tayssir program had the most substantial positive impact on school attendance among older children who were enrolled in the program.14 

The program continues to operate today. It has received support from international donors, including the World Bank, which has financed the implementation of digital management and payments for the program.15 In 2020, the Ministry of Education began the process of digitizing Tayssir transfers. The reform will make it easier for beneficiaries to receive their payments and save travel to banks. Under the new policy, parents can receive payments, make purchases, and withdraw money via a mobile application. 

Moroccan little girls walking to school ©Adobe Stock/stez