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Systemic shocks and social protection : role and effectiveness of public works programs


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  • Subbarao, Kalanidhi
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    In Asia and Africa particularly, public works programs have significantly mitigated the negative effects of climatic risks on poor farmers, and farm laborers. These programs typically provide unskilled manual workers with short-term employment on projects such as road construction and maintenance, irrigation infrastructure, reforestation, and soil conservation. The implementation of these programs is being handled by small-scale private contractors, Non-Government Officials (NGOs), or social funds. The main constraint in implanting public works programs in much of Africa is due to lack of capacity. These constraints can be eased if donors coordinate their activities, and provide assistance to build private contracting capacity. This paper discusses the rationale behind workfare programs in Africa and Asia with respect to such design features as wage rates, labor intensity, and how they were selected and implemented. Available estimates and evaluations are used, and whether these programs have achieved their goals is presented. The paper concludes with summary lessons from experience.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Social Protection Discussion Papers with number 25606.

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    Date of creation: 31 Jan 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:25606

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    Keywords: Services&Transfers to Poor; Rural Poverty Reduction; Safety Nets and Transfers; Social Risk Management; Poverty Monitoring&Analysis;


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    Cited by:
    1. Messkoub, M., 2008. "Economic growth, employment and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa," ISS Working Papers - General Series 18733, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    2. Brown, Lynn & Gentilini, Ugo, 2006. "On the Edge: The Role of Food-based Safety Nets in Helping Vulnerable Households Manage Food Insecurity," Working Paper Series RP2006/111, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Caren A. Grown, 2006. "Quick Impact Initiatives For Gender Equality: A Menu of Options," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_462, Levy Economics Institute.
    4. Farrukh Iqbal, 2006. "Sustaining Gains in Poverty Reduction and Human Development in the Middle East and North Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7048, October.
    5. Messkoub, Mahmood, 2008. "Economic growth, employment and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa," ILO Working Papers 425832, International Labour Organization.
    6. Guy Standing, 2007. "How Cash Transfers Boost Work and Economic Security," Working Papers 58, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
    7. Messkoub, M., 2013. "Demographic and social trends affecting intergenerational relations in the MENA region," ISS Working Papers - General Series 576, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    8. World Bank, 2012. "Madagascar - Three Years into the Crisis : An Assessment of Vulnerability and Social Policies and Prospects for the Future, Volume 1. Main Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12324, The World Bank.
    9. World Bank, 2012. "Resilience, Equity, and Opportunity," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12648, The World Bank.
    10. World Bank & International Finance Corporation, 2006. "Doing Business 2007 : How to Reform," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7245, October.
    11. World Bank, 2006. "Mauritius : From Preferences to Global Competitiveness, Report of the Aid for Trade Mission," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8171, The World Bank.
    12. World Bank, 2010. "Liberia - Employment and Pro-Poor Growth," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2966, The World Bank.
    13. Tsimpo, Clarence & Wodon, Quentin & Graham, Errol, 2012. "Ex ante assessment of the potential impact of labor-intensive public works in Liberia," MPRA Paper 38554, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Niehaus, Paul & Sukhtankar, Sandip, 2013. "The marginal rate of corruption in public programs: Evidence from India," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 52-64.
    15. World Bank, 2005. "Shocks and Social Protection : Lessons from the Central American Coffee Crisis, Volume 1, Synthesis of Findings and Implications for Policy," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8435, The World Bank.


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