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:

Series: International Policy Exchange Series

Social Assistance Schemes in Developing Countries

Show Summary Details


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.

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.