Development that Works
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    This blog highlights effective ideas in the fight against poverty and exclusion, and analyzes the impact of development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Tag: conditional-cash-transfers

    Found 6 posts.

    The Juana Azurduy Voucher Program: health services for mothers and their children

    By - 31 de May de 2016, 8:00 am

    “I didn’t go to the health center because it took a long time, and on top of that they treated me badly,” recounted a Quechua woman in the town of Oruro, Bolivia. “We have our own customs for childbirth”.

    Source: IDB

    Image: IDB

    She is not alone in those views. According to a recent national survey, the main reason why women avoid prenatal care is distrust of health personnel (26 percent). Other reasons include the distance they must travel to reach the health facility (21 percent), lack of time because they are busy with children or work (12 percent), and opposition from their spouse or family (6 percent). Read more…

    Lessons from Honduras’ CTT program: conditionalities matter

    By - 3 de May de 2016, 7:00 am

    A successful strategy to reduce poverty in developing nations has been the use of conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs.

    CCTs attempt to reduce poverty while also changing behavior and building human capital by providing families with cash in exchange for certain requirements, such as enrolling their children in school.

    Source: Secretaria de Desarrollo e Inclusión Social del Gobierno de Honduras

    Image: Secretaria de Desarrollo e Inclusión Social del Gobierno de Honduras

    These incentives have been employed effectively to boost school enrollment and attendance, decrease child labor, and encourage the use of preventive health services.

    In Honduras, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has been the main financial and technical partner of a CCT known as Bono Vida Mejor (formerly Bono 10,000).

    Since its inception in 2010, Bono Vida Mejor has benefited 350,000 households. It has contributed to reducing the poverty rate in Honduras and moderately improved school attendance and the rate of health clinic visits for children under 3. Read more…

    8 lessons from giving cash to the poor

    By - 21 de October de 2014, 7:00 pm

    CCT 8 lessons

    18 governments from Latin America and the Caribbean give out regular monthly cash transfers to almost 130 million poor. These transfers which are known as Conditional Cash Transfers or CCTs and which vary greatly in terms of objectives and coverage, try to alleviate poverty in the short term and develop human capital in the long run. These programs typically focus on children’s health and education and, in some cases, maternal health.

    In a recent paper, Rômulo Paes de Sousa (from the Institute of Development Studies), Ferdinando Regalia and Marco Stampini (both economists from the Inter-American Development Bank) analyzed the experience of 6 countries and extracted 8 lessons for countries that have recently started or that are currently considering the introduction of a CCT.

    These are the 8 lessons:

    Read more…

    Enhanced Conditional Cash Transfers to Boost Health

    By - 30 de March de 2014, 10:51 am

    By Sandro Parodi

    The Dominican Republic Adjusts its Solidaridad  Program to Help the Poor

    Conditional cash transfers programs have proven over the years to be an effective tool to reduce poverty and inequality in the short term. The transfer program in the Dominican Republic introduced in 2005, known as Solidaridad, has had just such positive effects on health, improving the weight and height of children under five years old and helping to reduce teen pregnancies and the probability of young people repeating grades or dropping out of secondary school.

    The IDB has played a key role in supporting the design and implementation of the transfer program as well as other improvements to the Dominican Republic’s social safety net. The country has improved its targeting mechanisms, strengthened the compliance of beneficiaries with their co-responsibilities, enhanced the links between the supply of services and case management, and significantly increased investments to improve the quality of primary health care services.

    To further maximize the impact of Solidaridad, the government, with technical assistance from the IDB, moved in 2012 to consolidate the program with another social program called Progresando, which supports socio-educational interventions. The merger has enabled the conditional cash transfer program to adopt a more systematic approach to improving health education by expanding its geographical reach and boosting the number of case workers working regularly with families through monthly home visits. The ration of households per caseworker has decreased to 50 from 350 before the merge.

    Caseworkers help connect families to a wide range of government social services and also verify whether households are meeting their co-responsibilities, which include sending their children to school and taking them for regular health check-ups.

    The country has also added new features to the program, which is now known as Progresando con Solidaridad. These include helping young people in beneficiary households access job training, and improving the coverage and design of education co-responsibilities in order to encourage teens to stay in school. Monthly stipends have been extended to families in the program with children in school up to 21 years old, and the amount of the stipend is now pegged to grade levels—the more teens advance in secondary school, the greater the stipend their families receive from the program.

    In 2013, the IDB approved another loan to help the Dominican Republic expand the reach of Progresando con Solidaridad, which is now the pillar of the country’s social safety net. The loan will also finance an impact assessment of the revamped conditional cash transfer program to determine whether the recent changes are working. Besides benefiting the Dominican Republic, the findings will provide important lessons for other countries in the region seeking to maximize the development impact of similar programs.

    CCTs: not the silver bullet, but with long lasting positive effects

    By - 24 de April de 2013, 5:55 am

    cct nica 1

    Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) were a major social policy innovation in the mid/late 1990s.

    Instead of providing generalized subsidies, using price controls, and/or directly distributing food as means to help the poor (instruments that are inefficient, distort markets and in general are regressive), governments began to transfer cash directly to the poorest families, conditioning such transfers on families sending their kids to school and taking them for routine checkups to health facilities.

    While the evaluations show that the programs had the intended effects (i.e. families increased their consumption — with no evidence of negative labor market impacts on adults–, and the use of health and education services also increased) CCTs have been under scrutiny from several perspectives.

    Some of the most common criticisms to CCTs are:

    • The impacts on “final” health and education outcomes are mixed (Fizsbein and Schady, 2009).
    • Even with CCTs there is a large enrollment gap in secondary education (which is key for the likelihood of getting a good job).
    • CCTs don’t work as well in urban areas (Bouillon and Tejerina, 2007).
    • The impact on income generating capacity of adults (by easing liquidity constraints for productive investments, which would be a positive externality as it was not part of the core objectives of CCTs), although promising at first (Gertler, Martinez and Rubio, 2006) , has been mixed (Maluccio, 2007).
    • When children from beneficiary households enter the labor market, they don’t get good jobs (Samuel Freije y Eduardo Rodriguez, 2008).
    • They don’t do enough to eliminate gender disparities.

    These criticisms address important issues, but most of these go beyond CCTs. These programs are a tool that should be part of a broader social strategy, which together with other public policies (productivity, fiscal, innovation…) would help to break the intergenerational transmission of poverty.

    What we are seeing in some cases is that the kids are not accumulating enough human capital, but this is largely because the poor quality of health and education services. Children that benefited from CCT attended school and health centers more than if their families had not received the transfer, but when they join the labor market they are still not able to find good jobs.

    This is a worrying reality, but clearly CCTs cannot be charged with finding jobs for beneficiaries in labor markets that are not generating good jobs.

    In this context, is it still a good idea to invest in CCTs? Read more…