Exploring policy measures to address the disempowering effects of social assistance schemes on women

The methods used to identify beneficiaries of programmes aiming to address persistent poverty and shocks are subject to frequent policy debates. Relying on panel data from Niger, this paper analyses the performance of different targeting methods that are widely used by development and humanitarian actors and explores how they can be applied as part of an adaptive social protection (ASP) system. The methods include proxy-means testing (PMT), household economy analysis (HEA), geographical targeting, and combined methods.

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This paper presents the main informational tools produced by the Department of Information Management SAGI/MDS to assist the management activities, monitoring, and evaluation of social programs from the Ministry of Social Development. At access peaks, SAGI’s tools have about 1.5 million visits on a single day. More than one hundred countries access these data regularly.

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Effective targeting is a hallmark of the BRAC’s CFPR/TUP programme. Like many other targeted programmes, CFPR/TUP combines a number of targeting methods. Launching in 2002, this programme has scaled up in 2005. Despite this scaling up, success in targeting has been maintained. Using poverty assessment tool, developed by CGAP, it was observed that about three quarters of the beneficiaries of this programme belong to the poorest quartile. This is a commendable achievement when compared to other targeted programmes.

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Identifying the poorest for selection into social transfer programmes is a major challenge facing programme implementers. An innovative cash transfer programme in northern Kenya trialled three targeting mechanisms to learn lessons about which approach is most effective at minimizing inclusion and exclusion errors. We conclude that community-based targeting is the most accurate of the three approaches, followed by categorical targeting by age and household dependency ratio. However, targeting performance is strongly affected by implementation capacity and modalities.

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Improving social assistance programs in the PRC requires consideration of socioeconomic characteristics, beneficiary selection legalities, urban-rural equity, and integration between participating NPOs and programs.

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This study provides a diagnostic of the benefit incidence and targeting performance of a large number of social programs in Ghana. Both broad-based programs (such as spending for education and health, and subsidies for food, oil-related products and electricity) as well as targetd programs (such as LEAP, the indigent exemption under the NHIS, school lunches and uniforms, or fertilizer subsidies) are considered. In addition, the study provides tools and recommendations for better targeting of those programs in the future.
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