Social Assistance in Developing Countries Database Version 5.0
In this new version of the database we have included pilot social assistance programmes. A number of pilot cash transfer programmes have been introduced in Latin America, Asia and Africa in the last year or so, and a few more are in the design stage. Their scale and rationale suggest there is a good chance they will be scaled up in the near future. In theory, pilot social protection programmes should imply experimentation in the face of uncertainty regarding the way forward, but several of the pilots covered in the database, and many of those in the pipeline, represent instead a specific route to the extension of social protection, and as such they merit discussion. The main purpose of this brief note is to provide such discussion, and illuminate on this specific mode of development of social protection in developing countries. In Sub-Saharan Africa, there are pilot cash transfers schemes in place in Kenya, Malawi, Ghana and Zambia; and in the implementation stage in Nigeria, Liberia, Uganda, and Tanzania. In Latin America, pilot programmes have been rolled out in Paraguay, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic. In South Asia, ’s Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty Reduction - Targeting the Ultra Poor programme is in fact a pilot programme, as as is Pakistan’s Child Support programme. Why the high number of pilots? In the context of technocratic models of policy making, pilot programmes would make a great deal of sense if policy makers are uncertain of the feasibility and likely impact effectiveness of interventions. Before introducing innovative, complex, and costly interventions, sensible policy makers would recommend testing the interventions in a small scale experiment. Knowledge from the delivery and impact of the interventions could then inform the desirability and design of a scaled up programme. There is a sense in which the social protection pilot programmes referred to above, and described in the database, do not fit fully into this description. We have accumulated a large body of evidence and knowledge about the design, delivery, and impact of cash transfer schemes in Latin America to be reasonably confident that, adequately designed, they can achieve their short term objectives. Why is further testing necessary? The strongest available evidence on cash transfer programmes comes from middle income countries in Latin America, Mexico’s Progresa/Oportunidades, and to a lesser extent Brazil’s Bolsa Escola/Familia. Naturally, questions remain over whether similar programmes can work in other environments. Would cash transfer schemes work in Africa? Would they work in low income countries in Latin America? Low income countries have higher incidence of poverty; lower capacity in terms of designing, delivering, and evaluating transfers schemes; and less developed administrative and financial systems. It makes sense to check whether cash transfers are appropriate and effective in these, more adverse, environments. Even then, fewer pilots would still deliver answers to our questions. We know from the Zambia Kalomo Social Transfer Pilot Scheme that cash transfers are feasible and effective in low income countries, providing that technical support is available and community selection of beneficiaries is feasible. The spread of pilot social assistance schemes is also explained by domestic policy processes and funding modalities. In countries where policy makers, and perhaps civil society, are reluctant to innovate, pilots provide an opportunity to enable learning from new approaches to poverty and vulnerability. It also provides a well defined time frame in which donors could use existing funding modalities to support the extension of social protection. DFID, for example, is committed to shifting focus from emergency aid to regular forms of support in Africa. In Latin America, IADB support for social protection initiatives normally extends for periods of up to five years. Given the time frame of available international aid , the expectations are that pilot schemes could be instrumental in building learning and support for social protection among domestic policy makers, that they would have strong ‘demonstration effects’. Risks and opportunities There are significant risks with this strategy, and even more significant opportunities. The risks are to do with pilots failing to generate the expected ‘demonstration effects’, and with changes in international economic conditions that shift attention to other problems. The opportunities could potentially be very significant, successful pilot transfer schemes could mark the beginnings of a process leading to the implementation of effective anti-poverty programmes at a scale capable of making a large dent on global poverty. Paying attention to the design of pilots and to associated policy processes could help minimise these risks and maximise opportunities. Designing pilot social assistance programmes as if they are a first phase of a fully scaled up programme is essential. This involves avoiding short cuts in the pilot stage, and making the necessary investment in information systems, delivery institutions, and beneficiary selection. These set up costs can be substantial. Process considerations are important in ensuring the pilots are part of national social protection strategies, and involve a wide range of stakeholders. It is vitally important that pilots achieve a good balance of design and process considerations. As much else in development policy, pilot social transfers are as much about politics as they are about the economic and technical issues of poverty reduction.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany|
Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Daniel Gilligan & John Hoddinott & Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse, 2009.
"The Impact of Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Programme and its Linkages,"
Journal of Development Studies,
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(10), pages 1684-1706.
- Gilligan, Daniel O. & Hoddinott, John & Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum, 2008. "The impact of Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Programme and its linkages:," IFPRI discussion papers 839, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Willmore, Larry, 2007. "Universal Pensions for Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 24-51, January.
- Andersson, Camilla & Mekonnen, Alemu & Stage, Jesper, 2011.
"Impacts of the Productive Safety Net Program in Ethiopia on livestock and tree holdings of rural households,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 119-126, January.
- Andersson, Camilla & Mekonnen, Alemu & Stage, Jesper, 2009. "Impacts of the Productive Safety Net Program in Ethiopia on Livestock and Tree Holdings of Rural Households," Discussion Papers dp-09-05-efd, Resources For the Future.
- Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Filmer, Deon & Schady, Norbert, 2009. "Own and sibling effects of conditional cash transfer programs : theory and evidence from Cambodia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5001, The World Bank.
- Filmer, Deon & Schady, Norbert, 2006.
"Getting girls into school : evidence from a scholarship program in Cambodia,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
3910, The World Bank.
- Deon Filmer & Norbert Schady, 2008. "Getting Girls into School: Evidence from a Scholarship Program in Cambodia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 581-617.
- María Noel Pi Alperin, 2009. "The impact of Argentina's social assistance program plan jefes y jefas de hogar on structural poverty," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 0(Special i), pages 49-81.
- N/A, 2007. "The World Economy," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 200(1), pages 7-30, April.
- Anne Case, 2001.
"Does Money Protect Health Status? Evidence from South African Pensions,"
NBER Working Papers
8495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Anne Case, 2004. "Does Money Protect Health Status? Evidence from South African Pensions," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 287-312 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Anne Case, 2001. "Does Money Protect Health Status? Evidence from South African Pensions," Working Papers 205, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
- Alexis Sienaert, 2008. "The Labour Supply Effects of the South African State Old Age Pension: Theory, Evidence and Implications," SALDRU Working Papers 20, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
- Raghav Gaiha & Katsushi Imai, 2002. "Rural Public Works and Poverty Alleviation--the case of the employment guarantee scheme in Maharashtra," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 131-151.
- Norbert Schady & Maria Caridad Araujo, 2008. "Cash Transfers, Conditions, and School enrollment in Ecuador," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 43-77, January.
- Oosterbeek, Hessel & Ponce, Juan & Schady, Norbert, 2008.
"The impact of cash transfers on school enrollment : evidence from Ecuador,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
4645, The World Bank.
- Hessel Oosterbeek & Juan Ponce & Norbert Schady, 2008. "The Impact of Cash Transfers on School Enrollment: Evidence from Ecuador," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-037/3, Tinbergen Institute.
- M. Shahe Emran & Stephen C. Smith & Virginia Robano, 2009. "Assessing the Frontiers of Ultra-Poverty Reduction: Evidence from CFPR/TUP, an Innovative Program in Bangladesh," Working Papers 2009-06, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
- Sebastian Levine & Servaas van der Berg & Derek Yu, 2009. "Measuring the impact of social cash transfers on poverty and inequality in Namibia," Working Papers 25/2009, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
- Oriana Bandiera & Selim Gulesci & Imran Rasul & Robin Burgess, 2009.
"Community networks and poverty reduction programmes: evidence from Bangladesh,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
58054, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Oriana Bandiera & Robin Burgess & Selim Gulesci & Imran Rasul, 2009. "Community Networks and PovertyReductionProgrammes: Evidence from Bangladesh," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 015, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Katsushi Imai, 2003. "The Employment Guarantee Scheme as a Social Safety Net - Poverty Dynamics and Poverty Alleviation," Economics Series Working Papers 149, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Ahmed, Akhter U. & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Nasreen, Mahbuba & Hoddinott, John F. & Bryan, Elizabeth, 2009. "Comparing Food and Cash Transfers to the Ultra-Poor in Bangladesh," Research reports 163, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- del Ninno, Carlo & Dorosh, Paul A., 2002.
"In-kind transfers and household food consumption,"
FCND discussion papers
134, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Galasso, Emanuela & Ravallion, Martin, 2003.
"Social protection in a crisis - Argentina's Plan Jefes y Jefas,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
3165, The World Bank.
- Emanuela Galasso & Martin Ravallion, 2004. "Social Protection in a Crisis: Argentina's Plan Jefes y Jefas," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(3), pages 367-399.
- Barham, Tania & Maluccio, John A., 2009. "Eradicating diseases: The effect of conditional cash transfers on vaccination coverage in rural Nicaragua," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 611-621, May.
- Nistha Sinha & Joanne Yoong, 2009.
"Long-Term Financial Incentives and Investment in Daughters: Evidence From Conditional Cash Transfers In North India,"
667, RAND Corporation.
- Sinha, Nistha & Yoong, Joanne, 2009. "Long-term financial incentives and investment in daughters : evidence from conditional cash transfers in north India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4860, The World Bank.
- Fernando Borraz & Nicolás González, 2009. "Impact of the Uruguayan Conditional Cash Transfer Program," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 46(134), pages 243-271.
- Anna McCord, 2003. "An Overview of the Performance and Potential of Public Works Programmes in South Africa," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 049, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
- Rafael Perez Ribas & Guilherme Issamu Hirata & Fabio Veras Soares, 2008. "Debating Targeting Methods for Cash Transfers: A Multidimensional Index vs. an Income Proxy for Paraguay?s Tekoporã Programme," Publications 2, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
- Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "Transfer Benefits from Public-Works Employment: Evidence for Rural India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1346-69, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:20001. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.