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Abstract

A common criticism of antipoverty programmes is that a large proportion of their budgets never reaches the intended beneficiaries but is absorbed by administration costs. Yet, there is little empirical evidence on the costs, and even less on the cost structures, of such programmes. This paper outlines and implements a replicable methodology for a disaggregated cost analysis of a pilot conditional cash transfer programme in Nicaragua, examining the administration and private costs associated with a one-unit transfer to a beneficiary-referred to as the cost-transfer ratio. We find that for a meaningful assessment of cost efficiency, it is misleading to make calculations using only the typically available raw accounting data. Rather, one must delve into the details and specific activities of the programme. This is particularly important for pilot programmes, which typically have many upfront fixed costs associated with design and setting up operations. It is also important for conditional cash transfer programmes, which have additional costs associated with their specific design features and require changes in beneficiary behaviour that may engender substantial private costs. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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... Whilst the programme reduced the school dropout rate by more than 40%, it did not show a higher impact in the conditional treatment group (Baird et al., 2010). This questions the rationale for conditioning the cash transfer, in particular if it comes with high administrative costs, associated with the monitoring and enforcement of the conditionality (Caldés and Maluccio, 2005), particularly in low-resource settings where monitoring might be very difficult (Schubert and Slater, 2006). On the other hand, proponents of CCTs have argued that the conditionalities guarantee the existence of "positive externalities" or benefits to the entire society that would not be otherwise obtained, if it was left to individual decisions. ...
... If evidence on the positive impact of CCTs can be judged as being robust, evidence on the cost-effectiveness of CCTs is still absent. Yet, CCTs carry a proportion of administrative costs that constitute an important part of the programme budget, as monitoring conditionalities can be quite costly (Caldés and Maluccio, 2005). For example, in Nicaragua, administrative costs of the CCT represented half of the cash transfer (Caldés and Maluccio, 2005). ...
... Yet, CCTs carry a proportion of administrative costs that constitute an important part of the programme budget, as monitoring conditionalities can be quite costly (Caldés and Maluccio, 2005). For example, in Nicaragua, administrative costs of the CCT represented half of the cash transfer (Caldés and Maluccio, 2005). To echo the critiques voiced against CCTs, their cost-effectiveness remains to be tested against at least three types of interventions. ...
Article
To provide an overview of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programmes in low and middle income countries and present the evidence to date on their contribution to improvements in health and the encouragement of healthy behaviours. Several bibliographic databases and websites were used to identify relevant studies. To be included, a study had to provide evidence of effects of a financial incentive conditional upon specific health-related behaviours. Only experimental or quasi-experimental study designs were accepted. We identified 13 CCT programmes, whose effects had been evaluated, mostly in Latin-American countries. Their results suggest that CCTs have been effective in increasing the use of preventive services, improving immunisation coverage, certain health outcomes and in encouraging healthy behaviours. CCTs can be valuable tools to address some of the obstacles faced by populations in poorer countries to access health care services, or maybe to modify risky sexual behaviours. However, CCTs need to be combined with supply-side interventions to maximise effects. Finally, some questions remain regarding their sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
... = 0.082. CTR is always greater than the percentage of administrative costs for positive transfer levels (Caldes and Maluccio, 2005). ...
... Caldes and Maluccio (2005); Caldes,Coady and Maluccio (2006);Ellis, Devereux and White (2009);and Coady, Perez and Vera-Ilamas (2005). ...
Article
The present paper examines the administrative efficiency of implementing the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in the Philippines. Using data collected at a municipal level for four provinces in the Davao Region, administrative efficiency scores were computed, employing cost transfer ratios (CTR) and data envelopment analysis (DEA) for the individual municipal operations offices (MOOs) implementing the programme. CTR estimates showed that the greatest proportion of total expenditure in cash transfer programmes was direct cash transfers, which implied an efficient use of programme funding. The DEA results showed an average technical efficiency score of 0.905, which implied that there was significant potential to further improve the performance of delivery of 4Ps. The results revealed that relatively high technical efficiency scores of MOOs did not necessarily translate into a more cost-efficient implementation of the programme. Nevertheless, a positive correlation was found between CTR and the high technical efficiency scores of the MOOs implementing the programme. JEL classification: C14, I31, I38.). The present paper has benefited from constructive comments provided by three anonymous referees associated with this Journal.
... Like most pilots, RPS underwent an initial learning period (with attendant setbacks) and undertook a variety of activities that might not need repeating in an expansion (e.g., designing the MIS and preparing training materials for beneficiaries, promotoras, and health-care providers). Some of these activities could have reduced the program's effectiveness during the pilot (Caldés and Maluccio 2005). Moreover, as with any new program, there was the potential for observed behavioral changes to result, in part, from the novelty of the program or the evaluation—the Hawthorne effect (Krueger 1999). ...
... In the case of RPS, the purposive selection of program areas may have affected program performance; the generalizability of the results is therefore less certain. As described ities could have reduced the program's effectiveness during the pilot (Caldés and Maluccio 2005). Moreover, as with any new program, there was the potential for observed behavioral changes to result, in part, from the novelty of the program or the evaluation—the Hawthorne effect (Krueger 1999). ...
Article
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"In 2000, the Nicaraguan government implemented a conditional cash transfer program designed to improve the nutritional, health, and educational status of poor households, and thereby to reduce short- and long-term poverty. Based on the Mexican government's successful PROGRESA program, Nicaragua's Red de Protección Social (RPS) sought to supplement household income, reduce primary school dropout rates, and increase the health care and nutritional status of children under the age of five. This report represents IFPRI's evaluation of phase I of RPS. It shows that the program was effective in low-income areas and particularly effective when addressing health care and education needs. The report offers the first extensive assessment of a Nicaraguan government antipoverty program." Authors' Abstract
... De plus, il fut estimé que le coût administratif représenterait chaque année 15% du coût total du programme (voir tableau A1.1). Caldes et Maluccio (2005), rend compte premièrement que les coûts de fonctionnement sont plus élevés les premières années de mise en place du programme. L'analyse est centrée sur le ratio coût/bénéfice, s'appuyant notamment sur le coût de chacune des activités nécessaires au fonctionnement du programme. ...
Technical Report
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Le présent document présente le chiffrage des transferts monétaires proposés dans le document de Politique Nationale de Protection et Promotion Sociales (PNPPS) en Haïti, qui a pour but de faire reculer durablement la pauvreté, réduire les inégalités, et promouvoir l’autonomisation des Haïtiennes et des Haïtiens. Cet exercice considère le chiffrage de onze mécanismes de transferts monétaires pour faire face à différentes situations selon les différents groupes d’âge et zones géographiques et considère une période de déploiement progressif de leur mise en place qui va de 2020 à 2030.
... Several Latin American conditional cash transfer programmes have been evaluated using this methodology (e.g. Coady et al. 2005;Caldés and Maluccio 2005;Caldés et al. 2006). The concept was introduced on the basis of the work by Caldés et al. (2006). ...
... Reducing shortterm vulnerability to potential heat can reduce the pressure to engage in coping strategies and help vulnerable households in investment decisions and innovations to increase their adaptive capacity and facilitate mobility and livelihood transitions (Wood, 2011). While such programs have been criticized regarding potential effectiveness, ethical or equity issues (Caldés and Maluccio, 2005;Lagarde et al., 2007), they may constitute interesting alternative preventive strategies to cope with exposure to extreme temperatures in the future. ...
Article
Heat waves and high air temperature are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. However, the majority of research conducted on this topic is focused on high income areas of the world. Although heat waves have the most severe impacts on vulnerable populations, relatively few studies have studied their impacts in low and middle income countries (LMICs). The aim of this paper is to review the existing evidence in the literature on the impact of heat on human health in LMICs. We identified peer-reviewed epidemiologic studies published in English between January 1980 and August 2018 investigating potential associations between high ambient temperature or heat waves and mortality or morbidity. We selected studies according to the following criteria: quantitative studies that used primary and/or secondary data and report effect estimates where ambient temperature or heat waves are the main exposure of interest in relation to human morbidity or mortality within LMICs. Of the total 146 studies selected, eighty-two were conducted in China, nine in other countries of East Asia and the Pacific, twelve in South Asia, ten in Sub-Saharan Africa, eight in the Middle East and North Africa, and seven in each of Latin America and Europe. The majority of studies (92.9%) found positive associations between heat and human morbidity/mortality. Additionally, while outcome variables and study design differed greatly, most utilized a time-series study design and examined overall heath related morbidity/mortality impacts in an entire population, although it is notable that the selected studies generally found that the elderly, women, and individuals within the low socioeconomic brackets were the most vulnerable to the effects of high temperature. By highlighting the existing evidence on the impact of extreme heat on health in LMICs, we hope to determine data needs and help direct future studies in addressing this knowledge gap. The focus on LMICs is justified by the lack of studies and data studying the health burden of higher temperatures in these regions even though LMICs have a lower capacity to adapt to high temperatures and thus an increased risk.
... Following the approach outlined in Dhaliwal et al. (2012), all values are first translated into U.S. dollars using market exchange rates after which they are deflated to 2000, the base year, using U.S. CPI. Costs included are direct program costs for running the program (administrative/management, targeting, monitoring and conditionality) but as recommended for cost-benefit analysis do not include the transfers or evaluation costs (reported in Caldés and Maluccio 2005). We allocate 50 percent of the average per household program cost as an estimate of costs related to the education components of the program, in nominal terms $60 a year for three years. ...
Article
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Interventions aimed at improving the nutrition, health, and education of young children are often motivated by their potential to break the intergenerational transmission of poverty. A prominent example, conditional cash transfers (CCTs), has become the anti-poverty program of choice in many developing countries. Evidence is inconclusive as to whether the demonstrated short-term gains translate into the longer-term educational and labor market benefits needed to fully justify them. This paper uses the randomized phase-in of a 3-year CCT program in Nicaragua to estimate long-term effects. We estimate these effects using experimental variation, complemented by two alternative non-experimental identification strategies. We focus on boys aged 9–12 years at the start of the program who, due to the program’s eligibility criteria and prior school dropout patterns, were more likely to have been exposed to the program in the early treatment than in the late treatment group. Previously demonstrated short-term increases in schooling are sustained after 10 years, and there are substantial gains in learning. These improvements in human capital coincide with positive labor market returns—the young men are more likely to engage in wage work, migrate temporarily for better paying jobs, and have higher earnings. In Nicaragua, schooling and learning gains hence translate into earning gains for these young men, implying important long-term returns to CCT programs.
... In addition, there are some studies on the general achievements of CCT programs and their weaknesses as follows: Caldes and Maluccio (2005) There are quite a few studies of CCT program in Asia. ERIA research teams have reviewed current social protection and direction in some Asian countries . ...
Chapter
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Laos has inadequate social protection, especially for the poor and the Lao economy is vulnerable to external shock, particularly from events like the global financial crisis. It seems that the poor suffered significant effects from the shock. Therefore, it is important to consider creating cash transfer programs for the poor. The main objective of this study is to assess the impact of cash transfers on poverty and income distribution during a crisis. A Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model- and Micro-simulation are employed for this study. This study focuses on cash transfers to poor households with children, living in rural and urban areas. The simulation result shows that cash transfer has a significant impact on poverty and income distribution. It is noteworthy that poverty reduced more in rural rather than in urban areas. It is therefore important for government to consider establishing social support programs for the poor, in order to reduce poverty and mitigate external shocks such as the recent crisis and rising food prices. Keywords:
... Caldés and Maluccio (2005) and Caldés, Coady and Maluccio (2006) highlight the role of administrative costs in CCT programs. Their central concept was the cost-transfer ratio ctr given by c A /t. ...
Article
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Following the prototype of Mexico’s Progresa program, a number of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have initiated conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs. More recently, countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have followed suit. However, no comprehensive framework to carry out a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) exists. This paper presents such a CBA framework for CCTs which enables design features such as targeting and conditionality to be separately evaluated. The framework is applied to an evaluation of a CCT program for orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya. The role of conditionality in SSA and the need for distribution weights is discussed.
... Finally, although there is less evidence of this aspect, applying conditionalities can be an expensive process vulnerable to manipulation. Verifying compliance accounted for 2% to 24% of total administrative costs (excluding transfers) in Mexico (Progresa), Honduras (PRAF II), and Nicaragua (RPS pilot) (Caldés and Maluccio 2005;Caldés et al 2006). In Zambia, it was 73% of the cost of transfers (Chiwele 2010). ...
Article
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Cash transfers are now suggested by many as a silver bullet for addressing the problems that plague India's anti-poverty programmes. This article argues instead for evidence-based policy and informed public debate to clarify the place, prospects and problems of cash transfers in India. By drawing on key empirical findings from academic and grey literature across the world an attempt is made to draw attention to three aspects of cash transfers – design, implementation and impact. The article examines which instruments function the best and for what goals, what the broader context is in which these interventions are embedded, and what the difficulties associated with their implementation are.
... For example, ethnographic research indicated that mothers were not accustomed to learning in a workshop environment and did not learn well when they had to concentrate for long periods of time (workshops were found to last for about four hours). Furthermore, due to the large number of RPS mothers in each community and the limited number of facilitators, workshops were large (facilitator: participant ratios were between 2:35 and 2:50) and therefore provided little personal attention (Caldés and Maluccio 2005;Adato and Roopnaraine 2004). However, there is some evidence that information conveyed in the nutrition education workshops was shared among households. ...
Article
The paper attempts to answer the following questions: how can conditional cash transfer (CCTs) be better designed, coordinated, and leveraged to increase their impact on child undernutrition? How can best practices from nutrition interventions be applied to ensure maximum CCT impact on child undernutrition? What are the key issues affecting the potential for CCTs to become an effective tool in nutrition policy and programming? The paper is organized as follows: section two defines undernutrition and discusses the magnitude of the problem, implications for long-term human capital development, and how and when to intervene. Section three describes CCT programs, including conceptual foundations for applying conditionality's, the position of CCTs in the current development paradigm, and reasons for their widespread popularity. Section four develops a rationale for using CCTs as one of a set of tools to improve nutritional status. Section five compares the design, implementation, and impacts of CCTs in five Latin American countries (Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico). Section six explores how best practices in nutrition could inform CCT design and section seven introduces redesigned and emerging CCTs focusing on nutrition. Section eight examines some of the key issues surrounding the use of CCTs for nutrition policy, including program eligibility and benefit duration, the use of conditionality's, supply-side investments, the cost and cost effectiveness of these efforts, and institutional roles and coordination. Section nine concludes with recommendations and suggestions for further research.
... In addition, there are some studies on the general achievements of CCT programs and their weaknesses as follows: Caldes and Maluccio (2005) There are quite a few studies of CCT program in Asia. ERIA research teams have reviewed current social protection and direction in some Asian countries . ...
Chapter
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By using the Viet Nam Household Living Standards Survey (VHLSS) from 2008, this paper quantifies the potential impacts of various cash transfer programs on old- age poverty in Viet Nam. We use static micro-simulation techniques to estimate how such programs could reduce such poverty. We consider three targeted groups of elderly people along with four age thresholds to evaluate the potential impacts. We find that a cash transfer program would be influential in reducing old-age poverty. More importantly, our micro-simulation results indicate that, given limited funding, targeting the rural elderly would be most effective for poverty reduction, and that a program providing lower benefits to a higher number of beneficiaries would be better in reducing poverty incidence than a program providing higher benefits to a lower number of beneficiaries.
... Although such benefits are more difficult to measure, there is evidence that even the expectation of conditionality has increased school attendance and reduced child labour in Ecuador-where co-responsibility mechanisms are not yet in place (Schady and Araujo, 2006). Maluccio and Caldes (2005) show that CCTPs may be run as low as at 4-9 cents per dollar transferred, although design, launch and evaluation costs may rise substantively the final tab. As expected, part of the success of these programs hinges on the institutional capacities of countries to resist cronyism and clientelistic temptations present in any targeted transfer scheme (Mkandawire, 2006). ...
Article
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Conditional Cash Transfer Programs (CCTPs) show a remarkable flexibility. Based on that property, CCTPs might be extended to provide a more comprehensive and cohesive social protection umbrella. These programs might widen their scope by facilitating sector specific reforms and providing protection to large-scale contingencies. By mobilising assets other than human capital and targeting more selectively population groups in changing circumstances, these programs might well become effective instruments to crack permanent poverty. This note discusses enabling changes to achieve such ambitious goals. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
... La RCT se interpretó como el costo de entregar una unidad de transferencia a los hogares beneficiarios, es decir, el costo por peso efectivamente entregado a los hogares beneficiarios (18). La estimación de la RCT anual agregada se realizó de la siguiente manera: ...
Article
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Objective Presenting an estimate of a Mexican food-support program (FSP) program's cost transfer ratio (CTR) from start-up (2003) to May 2005. Methods The program's activities were listed by constructing a time allocation matrix to ascertain how much time was spent on each of the program's activities by the personnel so involved. Another cost matrix was also constructed which was completed with information from the program's accountancy records. The program's total cost, activity cost and the value of given FSP transfers were thus estimated. Results Food delivery CRT for 2003, 2004 and 2005 was 0.150, 0.218, 0.230, respectively; cash CTR was 0.132in 2004 and 0.105 in 2005. Conclusion Comparing CTR values according to transfer type is a good way to promote discussion related to this topic; however, the decision for making a transfer does not depend exclusively on efficiency but on both mechanisms' effectiveness.
... 341). An assessment of the cost of Lula's social agenda-based on the cost transfer ratio-should be elaborated to verify how much funding is being absorbed by administrative costs (Caldés and Maluccio, 2005). In that way, we would know the proportion of the budget that is reaching the beneficiaries. ...
Article
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This paper examines whether the Brazilian social programme Bolsa Família is contributing to greater social equality within the country. As a measure of success, we rely on the programme's impact on public-school enrolment, which we consider an input for social equity. Our findings show that policy makers should continue with the same system of allocation used in 2006, which proved to be contributing to greater social equality. We suggest policy maker's direct attention to the 2006 residual map depicting municipalities that have extremely over- and under-predicted values, which may represent misallocation of public funds, and therefore may require some scrutiny. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
We meta-analyze for impact and cost-effectiveness 94 studies from 47 conditional cash transfer programs in low- and middle-income countries worldwide, focusing on educational outcomes that include enrollment, attendance, dropout, and school completion. To conceptually guide and interpret the empirical findings of our meta-analysis, we present a simple economic framework on household decision making that generates predictions, all else constant, for the association between certain program context and design characteristics and impact estimates. We also present a simple model for the analysis of program costs, using it to compute cost-effectiveness estimates for a subsample of programs. For all schooling outcomes, we find strong support for heterogeneity in impact, transfer-effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness estimates. Our meta-analytic results of impact and transfer-effectiveness estimates provide support to some—but not all—of the predictions from the household decision-making model.
Article
This review sets out to examine the published literature, exploring ways in which contact opportunities associated with cash transfers might help to identify vulnerable households and link them with social welfare services. Social welfare is a very broad construct, ranging from formalized social work provision to an array of service-type encounters, which could fall under the wide umbrella of social welfare, legal provision, family support services, child protective services and alternative care. A systematic review of published papers on cash transfer and social welfare generated 146 studies that were hand-sorted according to a series of inclusion criteria. These required availability of data, design competence and presence of a control group, from low/middle-income countries, cash transfers rather than other transfer types, accessible in the published literature in English reporting on developmental transfers as opposed to emergency transfers. Geographic and provision criteria were reached by 37 studies and only 12 of these included empirical data. Nine were evaluation studies, two used secondary analysis of existing data to explore childbearing and one presented a study synthesis. The majority emanated from South America (only one from South Africa). Two of the 12 were non-conditional pensions (Brazil and South Africa). The remainder were conditional transfers. The review showed that there is a lack of clearly identified, well-controlled, systematic studies from which to glean a sound evidence base on social welfare and cash transfer to guide policy. Studies reporting on nutritional status/child growth found positive effects of cash transfers (n = 6). Children benefiting from the programmes were healthier than those who were not enrolled in the programmes. Studies recorded positive effects of cash transfers on migration outcomes, psychological outcomes, preventative health-care participation, some health outcomes and school-related outcomes such as improved attendance, enhanced enrolment, reduced dropout and earlier enrolment. Cash transfers improved household consumption and expenditures (more spent on children's clothing, education and food – better quality food) to benefit children of the household. Programmes decreased or had no impact on fertility in Mexico, Nicaragua and Turkey. There were some increases in Honduras, which may or may not be related to the programme. No evaluations of cash transfer schemes reported on direct social welfare provision, legal and protective service access and provision. Grandparent residence and reductions in child labour were associated with cash transfers. In countries where there is a lack of traditional provision in terms of social work, there is a large gap in the provision of social support in general, including cash transfer schemes. The growing literature has shown the need for integration of social welfare into existing provision – be it the location of social welfare in general practice or the combining of government support through non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based projects. The clear message is that stand-alone provision may, in itself, be a barrier to access. Studies should move beyond access to services to explore the implications of service provision for health and welfare gains. This review of studies shows multiple opportunities within existing cash transfer provision for social welfare contacts.
Article
Conditional cash transfers are recognized widely as an effective demand-side social assistance intervention that complements the long-standing supply-side intervention of ensuring adequate supply of services. Despite the sophistication and complexity, targeting is not always efficient. Examining nine different conditional cash transfer programs, this review identifies various barriers and challenges faced by both agencies administering the transfers and potential beneficiaries of these transfers and explores the role of social welfare services in overcoming these barriers and challenges and facilitating access to social transfers.
Article
This article considers the role of conditional cash transfers as a mechanism of governing health risk by buying behaviour change in sexual practice. Conditional cash transfers have come to be identified as a potential solution to the problem of HIV prevention, and as such look likely to be applied throughout countries with high prevalence rates in sub-Saharan Africa. The article considers the implications of two pilot studies in Tanzania and Malawi for governing the risk of HIV infection. It outlines the problem of behaviour change and individual rationality, the potential of conditional cash transfers as a relatively inexpensive programme with high outcomes, and some of the limitations and implications of these initiatives for individual bodies, rationality and global health governance. The article makes the argument that conditional cash transfers should be met with caution and that governing health risk by buying behaviour represents the intersection of bio-political control with neo-liberal forms of economic incentive through financial gain. The balancing of long-term health needs with short-term financial gain induces will to change behaviour, the problem being the sustainability of such change in the absence of financial gain and the long-term consequences of constructing behaviour.
Article
Nicaragua's Red de Proteccion Social (RPS) is one of the first conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs implemented in a low-income country. Demand-side incentives, in the form of monetary transfers, are provided to poor households on condition that their children attend school and visit preventive health care providers. The design of the program is unique among CCT programs because these demand-side incentives are complemented by supply-side incentives aimed at improving the provision of health care. Health care providers are paid on the basis of their performance against predetermined targets. Both private and nonprofit health care providers contracted by the government extend the coverage of services to previously underserved areas. While it is difficult to disentangle the individual impact of performance-based, demand-side interventions from the impact of performance-based, supply-side incentives, a rigorous evaluation of the program shows that their combination can work to increase the utilization of health services among the poor, and to improve health outcomes significantly. An evaluation undertaken ten months after demand-side incentives were stopped in certain areas revealed that the utilization of preventive health care services remained high. It is possible, therefore, that a well-targeted strategy of supply-side, performance-based incentives on its own may be sufficient to maintain high levels of health care service utilization, at least among poor households that have benefited from a relatively long period of education on the importance of preventive health care, while receiving demand-side financial incentives. However, the RPS evaluation results cannot exclude that, even after their removal, demand side incentives continue to exert, at least in the short term, a positive impact on service utilization. In the implementation of future RPS-type approaches, research efforts should focus on and be devoted to "unbundling the bundle" and assessing the relative contribution of supply vs. demand-side incentives.
Article
This paper investigates the impact of the pilot phase of Paraguay’s conditional cash transfer programme, Tekoporã, on the demand for healthcare and education, and how much of this impact was due to the cash transfers and/or due to changes in behaviour/preferences, possibly as an effect of other, non-monetary programme components such as the conditionalities and family support visits. It also explores the presence of externalities effects through a decomposition of the average treatment effect on the treated (ATT) into participation and externality effect. This decomposition was possible thanks to the use of two distinct comparison groups, one within the village and possibly exposed to the externality, and another in a different district not affected by the programme. The results indicate that the programme was successful in improving children’s attendance at school and increasing visits to the health centres. They also suggest that the positive impacts do not reach non-beneficiary families (no externality effect). In the pilot phase, with no conditionality enforcement in place, the role of conditionality and social worker visits is not yet clear. No differential effect was found for those who were aware of the conditionalities and/or were visited by social workers, although the message of the importance of education and healthcare somehow did reach the households, altering their preferences towards a greater consumption of healthcare and education services.
Article
Incl. abstract, tables and bibliographical references A common criticism of antipoverty programs is that the high share of administrative (nontransfer) costs substantially reduces their effectiveness. Yet, there is surprisingly little rigorous empirical evidence on program costs. Improved information and a better understanding of the costs of such programs are crucial for effective policymaking. This study proposes and implements a replicable methodology for a comparative cost analysis of three similar poverty alleviation programs in Latin America, and assesses their cost efficiency. The findings underscore that any credible assessment of cost efficiency requires a detailed analysis of program cost structures that goes well beyond simply providing aggregate cost information.
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for useful comments and for supplying us with reference materials, Yisgedu Amde and Sanjukta Mukherjee for helpful research assistance and Manorama Rani for document processing. We also thank seminar participants at IFPRI, the World Bank and participants at the following conferences, "Chronic poverty and development policy", University of Manchester in April 2003, IAEA 2003, NEUDC 2003 and IDB Social Development forum 2003 for their very useful remarks. The book is based on a paper commissioned by the Social Protection Anchor unit for the Safety Nets Primer series. The findings, interpretations and conclusions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and should not be attributed in any manner to the World Bank, its affiliated organizations, or to the members of the Board of Directors or the countries they represent. Please convey comments to d.
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"In 2000, the Nicaraguan government implemented a conditional cash transfer program designed to improve the nutritional, health, and educational status of poor households, and thereby to reduce short- and long-term poverty. Based on the Mexican government's successful PROGRESA program, Nicaragua's Red de Protección Social (RPS) sought to supplement household income, reduce primary school dropout rates, and increase the health care and nutritional status of children under the age of five. This report represents IFPRI's evaluation of phase I of RPS. It shows that the program was effective in low-income areas and particularly effective when addressing health care and education needs. The report offers the first extensive assessment of a Nicaraguan government antipoverty program." Authors' Abstract
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"This document synthesizes the findings contained in a series of reports prepared by IFPRI for PROGRESA between November 1998 and November 2000... PROGRESA is one of the major programs of the Mexican government aimed at developing the human capital of poor households. Targeting its benefits directly to the population in extreme poverty in rural areas, PROGRESA aims to alleviate current and future poverty levels through cash transfers to mothers in households.... One of the most important contributions of IFPRI's evaluation of PROGRESA has been the continuation of the program in spite of the historic change in the government of Mexico in the 2000 elections. The overwhelming (and unprecedented) evidence that a poverty alleviation program shows strong signs of having a significant impact on the welfare and human capital investment of poor rural families in Mexico has contributed to the decision of the Fox administration to continue with the program and to expand its coverage in the poor urban areas of the country after some improvements in the design of the program.... The majority of the improvements in the design of PROGRESA (renamed Oportunidades by the Fox administration) were based on findings of the evaluation of PROGRESA that revealed areas of needed improvements in some of the structural components and the operation of the program... Yet in spite of these improvements in the program, the evaluation findings suggest that some issues remain to be resolved." from Text
Article
Seven case studies—from Bolivia, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Taiwan (China), and Turkey—demonstrate the feasibility of conducting rigorous impact evaluations in developing countries using randomized control designs. This experience, covering a wide variety of settings and social programs, offers lessons for task managers and policymakers interested in evaluating social sector investments. The main conclusions are: first, policymakers interested in assessing the effectiveness of a project ought to consider a randomized control design because such evaluations not only are feasible but also yield the most robust results. Second, the acute resource constraints common in developing countries that often make program rationing unavoidable also present opportunities for adopting randomized control designs. Policymakers and program managers need to be alert to the opportunities for building randomized control designs into development programs right from the start of the project cycle because they, more than academic researchers or evaluation experts, are in the best position to ensure that opportunities for rigorous evaluations are exploited.
Article
"One of the common criticisms of poverty alleviation programs is that the high share of administrative (nontransfer) costs substantially reduces the programs' impact on poverty. But very little empirical evidence exists on program costs. For example, a recent extensive international review of targeted poverty alleviation programs in developing countries could find data on costs for only 32 out of the 111 programs reviewed. Even then, the numbers available were not always comparable. In this paper, we present a detailed analysis of the cost structure of a program recently introduced in Mexico, called PROGRESA. Our analysis shows how cost data can be used as the basis for an evaluation of the cost efficiency of anti-poverty programs. It cautions, however, that one must be very careful when interpreting cost numbers or undertaking comparisons across programs in order to avoid misleading conclusions. Any credible analysis of a program's cost efficiency must involve a detailed analysis of cost structure and not simply provide aggregate cost information. We also highlight the importance of not neglecting private costs incurred by households in taking up transfers." Authors' Abstract
PROGRESA and its impacts on the human capital and welfare of households in rural Mexico: a synthesis of the results of an evaluation by IFPRI
  • E Skoufias
Proyecto de Red de Protección Social: Focalización de la fase piloto
  • G Arcia