The Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) was conceived as part of the Enhanced Social Protection Project (ESPP) which was launched by the Government of Zimbabwe in the year 2000. The new programme “was launched in response to worsening social conditions in the country that were causing the poor to suffer deepening multiple shocks (escalating prices of basic commodities, retrenchments and high unemployment rates, high drop outs of school children and high interest and inflation rates). The ESPP was targeted as a short-term social safety net aimed at alleviating irreversible losses to human capital in the areas of education, food security and health” (Government of Zimbabwe 2003: 5). BEAM is indeed, the largest form of educational assistance in the country to date, along-side other interventions by the private sector, churches, Non-Governmental Organizations, individual families and communities (Murenha 2006). Literature on BEAM is largely thin, with most of it analyzing it as part of wider studies looking at many other issues. Examples include the ZIMVAC Report of 2006; Murenha’s 2006 Study on Cost and Community Co-financing of Basic Education in Zimbabwe; the 2003 National Poverty Assessment Report and many other studies by UNICEF. This particular study was commissioned by an alliance of UN Agencies and partners, led by FAO, as part of a regional initiative that is seeking to identify promising initiatives on social protection interventions. The intervention sought to develop specific case studies of such social protection measures of which BEAM is one of them. In particular, the initiative is aimed at assessing the impact of the selected social interventions on OVC livelihoods and to gauge whether they can be taken to scale to increase their impact.