cash transfers

What to do about Inequality, Shrinking Wages and the perils of PPPs? A conversation with Kaushik Basu, World Bank chief economist

Duncan Green - March 10, 2015

Along with a bunch of policy wonks from NGOs and thinktanks, I had an exchange with World Bank chief economist Kaushik Basu this week. Rules of engagement were that the meeting  was off the record, but I was allowed to blog as long as the Bank saw a draft to make sure I wasn’t about to get him the sack. In the end, however, the …

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The Economist on the global spread of cash transfers and Jokowi’s flying start in Indonesia

Duncan Green - January 13, 2015

Some fascinating coverage of the new Indonesian president and cash transfers in the Economist this week. First up, Indonesia: ‘Having trimmed petrol subsidies in November, Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, who is universally known as Jokowi, scrapped them entirely from January 1st. Small subsidies (1,000 rupiah, or eight cents, per litre) will remain in place for diesel, used for public transport and by the country’s millions …

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What works in reducing gender inequality? Great overview from Naila Kabeer

Duncan Green - June 18, 2014

We’ve been having an interesting internal discussion on inequality over the last few weeks, and this contribution from Naila Kabeer jumped out. So I thought I’d nick it for FP2P A gendered analysis of essential services highlights the scale of the inequality challenge but it also offers useful pointers for the design of more inclusive and effective social protection strategies. Social protection interventions need to …

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Why don't we just send aid money directly to poor people's cellphones?

admin - January 4, 2012

Just before Christmas I had a thought-provoking discussion on the BBC World Service with Paul Niehaus, who has set up GiveDirectly, a US-based startup NGO pioneering a new financing model based on cash transfers. The idea couldn’t be simpler: 1. People donate through GD’s webpage 2. GD locates poor households in Kenya (see below) 3. GD transfers your donation electronically (through the M-Pesa mobile payments system) to a …

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Poverty reduction v well-being: a cash transfer experiment from Malawi

admin - June 29, 2011

What difference does it make to development interventions if you worry about well-being rather than income poverty? A rather neat example has just come through from some new research by Sarah Bair, Jacobus de Hoop and Berk Özler for the World Bank Poverty and Inequality team. They looked at the impact on girls’ mental health of cash transfers in Malawi (why do so many researchers work …

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How to halve world poverty – ignore J. Paul Getty

admin - November 10, 2010

An intriguing new paper from Paul Segal at the University of Sussex kicks off with a great quote from Mr Getty “The meek shall inherit the Earth, but not its mineral rights”. Segal wonders what might happen if governments defied that prediction, and just handed over the income from oil, mining etc directly to poor people as unconditional cash transfers to all citizens (i.e. a …

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'Just Give Money to the Poor: the Development Revolution from the Global South', an excellent overview of cash transfers

admin - May 24, 2010

Cash transfers (CTs – regular payments by the state directly to poor people) are all the rage at the moment, prompting heated debates across the development sector. As its title suggests, a new book, ‘Just Give Money to the Poor’ has no doubts about their merits. But Joseph Hanlon, Armando Barrientos (see his blog on the book here) and Hulme are academics with a long …

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Why conditional cash transfers can prevent HIV

admin - January 15, 2010

Conditional Cash Transfers, in which poor families receive regular payments from governments or aid donors on condition they keep their kids in school, or get them vaccinated, are all the rage at the moment. They are seen as effective ways to reduce poverty, cushion poor families against shocks and get kids into school, but it seems their benefits extend even further. New research from the …

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Giving cash to poor people and reducing inequality: lessons from Latin America

admin - August 4, 2009

Two interesting ‘one pagers’ from the consistently excellent International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, run by the UNDP and based in Brazil. In ‘Do Conditional Cash Tranfer (CCT) Programmes Work in Low-Income Countries?’ Simone Cecchini of ECLAC takes the well-known successes of cash transfers in large middle income countries such as Brazil (Bolsa Familia) and Mexico (Oportunidades) and evaluates efforts to replicate them in their …

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Cash for Coffins? What happened when Oxfam gave poor Vietnamese a lump sum

admin - April 16, 2009

I’ve just been reading the latest evaluation of an Oxfam project I’ve started to call ‘cash for coffins’ in Viet Nam. From mid-2006 Oxfam GB directly disbursed non-emergency cash grants to 550 poor and near poor households in An Loc commune, a poor rice-growing community on the Central coast of Viet Nam. Not only is this one-off cash transfer (aka ‘just give them the money’) pilot …

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