Chapter

Social Assistance Schemes in Developing Countries

Margaret Grosh, Carlo del Ninno and Emil Tesliuc

in Counting the Poor

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199860586
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932948 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860586.003.0010

Series: International Policy Exchange Series

Social Assistance Schemes in Developing Countries

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This chapter reviews the most prevalent types of social assistance programs found in developing countries. There they provide a vision of effective safety nets that focus on seven characteristics: They should be equitable, adequate, cost-effective, incentive compatible, sustainable, dynamic, and fit appropriately to the country context. The chapter focuses on targeting and benefit level. If a program goes wrong on these, then it is unlikely to be effective in reducing poverty and the other traits will have lesser importance. The first section of this chapter provides a brief overview of patterns of social assistance expenditures. The second section is on targeting, starting with a brief introduction of the available methods, then taking a more detailed look at the variety of social assistance programs in developing countries and discussing the types of targeting methods used, finally concluding with a brief synopsis of outcomes. The third section looks at benefit levels, reviewing theory and practice.

Keywords: benefit level; developing countries; poverty reduction; targeting; social assistance programs

Chapter.  11112 words.  Illustrated.

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