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Targeting poverty through community-based public works programs

  • Adato, Michelle
  • Haddad, Lawrence James

Since the transition to democracy, South African public works programs are to involve community participation, and be targeted to the poor and women. This paper examines the targeting performance of seven programs in Western Cape Province, and analyzes the role of government, community-based organizations, trade unions, and the private sector in explaining targeting outcomes. These programs were not well-targeted geographically in terms of poverty, unemployment, or infrastructure. Within localities, jobs went to the poor and unemployed, though not always the poorest. They did well in reaching women, despite local gender bias. Targeting guidelines of the state are mediated by diverse priorities that emerge in programs with multiple objectives, local perceptions of need and entitlement, and competing voices within civil society.

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series FCND discussion papers with number 121.

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Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fpr:fcnddp:121
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  1. Stephan Klasen, 1997. "Poverty, Inequality and Deprivation in South Africa: An Analysis of the 1993 SALDRU Survey," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 51-94, July.
  2. Hoddinott, John & Haddad, Lawrence James & Besley, Tim & Adato, Michelle, 2001. "Participation and poverty reduction," FCND briefs 98, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Bouis, Howarth E., 1994. "Agricultural technology and food policy to combat iron deficiency in developing countries," FCND discussion papers 1, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Valerie M´┐Żller & Amanda Jackson, 1997. "Perceptions of service delivery and happiness," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 169-184.
  5. K. Subbarao, 1997. "Public Works as an Anti-Poverty Program: An Overview of Cross-Country Experience," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 678-683.
  6. Haddad, Lawrence, 1999. "The income earned by women: impacts on welfare outcomes," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 135-141, March.
  7. Stephan Klasen & Ingrid Woolard, 1999. "Levels, trends and consistency of employment and unemployment figures in South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 3-35.
  8. Lawrence Haddad & Manfred Zeller, 1997. "Can social security programmes do more with less? General issues and the challenges for Southern Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 125-153.
  9. Haddad, Lawrence, 1999. "The income earned by women: impacts on welfare outcomes," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 20(2), March.
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