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  • Individual Author: Britto, Tatiana
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2005

    From the mid-90s onwards a fairly popular policy trend emerged in the development agenda of Latin America: the provision of cash transfers conditioned on certain behaviors of the recipients. These programs consisted in the provision of money subsidies to targeted households, provided they assured school attendance of their children and, in some cases, attended periodic health related activities. Their alleged innovation was a capacity to address demand-side constraints for structural poverty reduction, through an incentive scheme which combined the short term objectives of safety nets with the long term goals of building human capital and breaking the vicious intergenerational circle of poverty traps. They have received substantial support from the international community and are highlighted as one of the ‘best practices’ of social protection in Latin America. Considerable funding has been given to the dissemination of program experiences, expansion of existing initiatives and replication of similar programs elsewhere in the region. On the one hand, the appeal of conditional cash...

    From the mid-90s onwards a fairly popular policy trend emerged in the development agenda of Latin America: the provision of cash transfers conditioned on certain behaviors of the recipients. These programs consisted in the provision of money subsidies to targeted households, provided they assured school attendance of their children and, in some cases, attended periodic health related activities. Their alleged innovation was a capacity to address demand-side constraints for structural poverty reduction, through an incentive scheme which combined the short term objectives of safety nets with the long term goals of building human capital and breaking the vicious intergenerational circle of poverty traps. They have received substantial support from the international community and are highlighted as one of the ‘best practices’ of social protection in Latin America. Considerable funding has been given to the dissemination of program experiences, expansion of existing initiatives and replication of similar programs elsewhere in the region. On the one hand, the appeal of conditional cash transfers seems to have much to do with their potential to tackle key issues in the perpetuation of poverty in Latin America and their fit into the current mainstream discourse on poverty reduction. But, on the other hand, there might be high administrative requirements associated with the set up of conditional subsidies and significant issues that remain unresolved in their implementation experience. There can also be significant political economy issues and potential conflicts involved in these programs. In terms of impacts, conditional cash transfers are no panacea, but their potential seems undeniable. A contribution to understanding how and why these programs came about, what they can actually deliver and what are the issues they might arise are the primary objective of this paper. Based upon an analysis of the Mexican Program of Education, Health and Nutrition (Progresa) and the Brazilian Bolsa Escola, the paper discusses particular characteristics, selected implementation aspects and contextual factors that help explain the reasons behind the popularity and visibility of conditional cash transfers as a policy option among governments and multilateral donors. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Glassman, Amanda; Todd, Jessica; Gaarder, Marie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    In order to support poor families in the developing world to seek and use health care, a multi-pronged strategy is needed on both the supply and the demand side of health care. A demand-side program called Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) strives to reduce poverty and also increase food consumption, school attendance, and use of preventive health care. Since 1997, seven countries in Latin America have implemented and evaluated CCT programs with health and nutrition components. The core of the program is based on encouraging poor mothers to seek preventive health services and attend health education talks by providing a cash incentive for their healthy behavior (with healthy behavior representing performance). Evaluations of these programs measured outputs in the utilization of services; health knowledge, attitudes, and practice; food consumption; the supply and quality of services; as well as outcomes in vaccination rates; nutritional status; morbidity; mortality; and fertility.

    While CCT impact evaluations provided unambiguous evidence that financial incentives increase...

    In order to support poor families in the developing world to seek and use health care, a multi-pronged strategy is needed on both the supply and the demand side of health care. A demand-side program called Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) strives to reduce poverty and also increase food consumption, school attendance, and use of preventive health care. Since 1997, seven countries in Latin America have implemented and evaluated CCT programs with health and nutrition components. The core of the program is based on encouraging poor mothers to seek preventive health services and attend health education talks by providing a cash incentive for their healthy behavior (with healthy behavior representing performance). Evaluations of these programs measured outputs in the utilization of services; health knowledge, attitudes, and practice; food consumption; the supply and quality of services; as well as outcomes in vaccination rates; nutritional status; morbidity; mortality; and fertility.

    While CCT impact evaluations provided unambiguous evidence that financial incentives increase utilization of key services by the poor, the studies gave little attention to the impact on health-related behaviors, attitudes, and household decision-making or how these factors contribute to or limit impact on health outcomes. Recommendations include expanding the scope of future evaluations to study these effects, modeling program effects beforehand, and carefully selecting the conditions for payment so that they are not too burdensome yet not irrelevant. Continuing to focus on the extreme poor is recommended since findings show that the poorest households must reach a minimum level of food consumption before they are able to make other investments in their health and well-being. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Aber, Lawrence; Rawlings, Laura B.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    Over the last decade, Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs have become one of the most widely adopted anti-poverty initiatives in the developing world. Inspired particularly by Mexico's successful program, CCTs are viewed as an effective way to provide basic income support while building children's human capital. These programs have had a remarkable global expansion, from a handful programs in the late 1990s to programs in close to 30 countries today, including a demonstration program in the United States. In contrast to many other safety net programs in developing countries, CCTs have been closely studied and well evaluated, creating both a strong evidence base from which to inform policy decisions and an active global community of practice.

    This paper first reviews the emergence of CCTs in the context of a key theme in welfare reform, notably using incentives to promote human capital development, going beyond the traditional focus on income support. The paper then examines what has been learned to date from the experience with CCTs in the South and raises a series of...

    Over the last decade, Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs have become one of the most widely adopted anti-poverty initiatives in the developing world. Inspired particularly by Mexico's successful program, CCTs are viewed as an effective way to provide basic income support while building children's human capital. These programs have had a remarkable global expansion, from a handful programs in the late 1990s to programs in close to 30 countries today, including a demonstration program in the United States. In contrast to many other safety net programs in developing countries, CCTs have been closely studied and well evaluated, creating both a strong evidence base from which to inform policy decisions and an active global community of practice.

    This paper first reviews the emergence of CCTs in the context of a key theme in welfare reform, notably using incentives to promote human capital development, going beyond the traditional focus on income support. The paper then examines what has been learned to date from the experience with CCTs in the South and raises a series of questions concerning the relevance and replicability of these lessons in other contexts. The paper concludes with a call for further knowledge sharing in two areas: between the North and South as the experience with welfare reform and CCTs in particular expands, and between behavioral science and welfare policy. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Cecchini, Simone; Madariaga, Aldo
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    This document summarizes experience with conditional cash transfer or “co-responsibility” (CCT) programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean, over a period lasting more than 15 years. During this time, CCTs have consolidated and spread through the region’s various countries as a tool of choice for poverty-reduction policy.

    According to the ECLAC database of non-contributory social protection programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean, CCTs are currently being implemented in 18 of the region’s countries, benefiting over 25 million families (about 113 million people) or 19% of the regional population, at a cost of around 0.4% of regional gross domestic product (GDP).

    The basic structure of CCTs entails the transfer of monetary and nonmonetary resources to families with young children, living in poverty or extreme poverty, on condition that they fulfil specific commitments aimed at improving their human capacities. Despite the, as yet, inconclusive debates on the appropriateness of these programmes and their results in different domains, they have been hailed as...

    This document summarizes experience with conditional cash transfer or “co-responsibility” (CCT) programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean, over a period lasting more than 15 years. During this time, CCTs have consolidated and spread through the region’s various countries as a tool of choice for poverty-reduction policy.

    According to the ECLAC database of non-contributory social protection programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean, CCTs are currently being implemented in 18 of the region’s countries, benefiting over 25 million families (about 113 million people) or 19% of the regional population, at a cost of around 0.4% of regional gross domestic product (GDP).

    The basic structure of CCTs entails the transfer of monetary and nonmonetary resources to families with young children, living in poverty or extreme poverty, on condition that they fulfil specific commitments aimed at improving their human capacities. Despite the, as yet, inconclusive debates on the appropriateness of these programmes and their results in different domains, they have been hailed as representing a major step in connecting poor and indigent families with school-age children to broader and more comprehensive social-protection systems.

    This document, which it is hoped will serve as a basis and input for discussion and progress in building social-protection systems premised on inclusion and universal rights, provides detailed information on the different components of CCTs. It also reviews their main characteristics in terms of the definition and registration of programme users, the targeting mechanisms used, the various types of benefits provided, and the conditionalities attached to them. It then analyses the historical trend of the indicators of CCT investment and coverage, and the information available on their effects in different domains. Lastly, it makes an assessment of the experience and the main challenges that these programmes pose in terms of their sustainability, legal framework, accountability, participation, institutionality and inter-sectoral characteristics. (author abstract)