Social Safety Nets Primer
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This series is intended to provide a practical resource for those engaged in the design and implementation of safety net programs around the world. Readers will find information on good practices for a variety of types of interventions, country contexts, themes and target groups, as well as current thinking on the role of social safety nets in the broader development agenda.
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High Labour Intensive (HIMO) Public Works in Madagascar : Issues and Policy Options(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-12) Milazzo, Anna MariaHigh labor intensive (HIMO) public work programs have been very popular in recent years in Madagascar. They have been one of the most common safety net program used to address poverty and vulnerability. The objective of these programs has been to provide income support to the poor in critical times, e.g. after natural disasters, or to respond to seasonal shortfalls in employment during the agricultural slack period (soudure), and to improve much needed local infrastructures. The Government has recently increased its commitment to assisting poor households to prevent, mitigate and cope with the consequences of these shocks. The poverty reduction strategy paper, presented by the Government in 2003, calls for a national strategy for social protection to address risks and vulnerabilities as a central challenge to reduce poverty and improve human capital in Madagascar. To supplement effective implementation of policies in the area of social protection, the Government developed a National Risk Management and Social Protection Strategy (NRMSPS) in 2007.
Toolkit for Programming Assistance to Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in Sub-Saharan Africa(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-01) Tovo, Maurizia ; Prywes, Menahem ; Kielland, Anne ; Gibbons, Catherine ; Saito, JunkoOrphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) are among the most vulnerable population groups in Africa. Without support and protection, they are exposed to the risk of abusive labor, lack of education, malnutrition, disease, and death. Estimates indicate that 20 percent of children in Sub-Saharan Africa are OVC. They constitute such a large group that, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), OVC concerns need to be mainstreamed into relevant World Bank projects and programs. This brief note refers to the toolkit designed as a web-based product to make it a widely accessible, live document. It draws on a large array of experiences and material from international agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), hence helping to disseminate lessons - good and bad - learnt in a variety of settings. The Toolkit is organized in four parts and twenty-four sections.
What Role for Safety Net Transfers in Very Low Income Countries?(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-01) Weigand, ChristineIn countries where large parts of the population live in absolute poverty, the need for social safety nets may be greatest, but the capacity to fund and administer them can be severely constrained. What role can social safety net programs play in very low income countries (VLICs)? Three major challenges must be faced when deciding what programs would be feasible in a VLIC: Availability of information; Administrative capacity; and, Affordability. Some special considerations of certain types of interventions apply in the specific context of VLICs: Cash transfers; Food and nutrition programs; and, Agricultural inputs. Given the need to strike a balance between investments for growth and transfers - both compete for scarce public resources - it may be helpful to follow these steps when deciding on the type and scope of social safety net programs: Re-examine the main constraints to growth and the role of public investment policy; Conduct a vulnerability assessment and identify the main risks confronting poor people; and, Identify policy interventions that have a potential both for reducing vulnerability and for enhancing growth prospects.
Targeted Transfers in Poor Countries : Revisiting Trade-Offs and Policy Options(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-01) Whitehead, TimSocial safety nets are often seen as short-term palliatives or, worse, wastes of scarce money in developing economies. Critics point to leakages of benefits to non-targeted groups (i.e., the non-poor) or the policies' potential adverse effects on the incentives to work or save. Even supporters of social safety nets often view their benefits solely in terms of equity. These policies are rarely seen as an integral part of a strategy for fostering economic growth and poverty reduction. Indeed, many observers have argued that there are significant trade-offs between spending public money on such programs and long-term poverty reduction. Theory and evidence suggest that there may be scope for policies to alleviate current poverty and uninsured risk, and at the same time, to enhance economic efficiency. There have been a number of successful transfer schemes. However, in drawing implications for future policies, targeted transfers may not dominate other options such as fostering new institutions for credit provision, better enforcement of property rights, and supply-side interventions in schooling and healthcare. Theory and evidence suggest that the trade-offs between traditional safety net goals and efficiency have probably been exaggerated. A new approach to social safety nets would recognize their potential to enhance growth and emphasize careful design and evaluation to ensure that that potential is realized.