de la Briere, Benedicte

Gender Cross Cutting Solutions Area group of the World Bank
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Social assistance, Impact evaluation
Gender Cross Cutting Solutions Area group of the World Bank
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Last updated: January 11, 2024
Bénédicte de la Brière is a Lead Economist in the Gender Cross Cutting and Solutions Area group of the World Bank.  She was previously in the Human Development group of the Africa Region, as well as focal point for Governance and Service Delivery in the Office of the Chief Economist for Human Development. At the World Bank, she has worked on social assistance in MENA, LAC and SSA. She has previously served at FAO, leading research about the productive impacts of social cash transfers in Africa, and was DFID adviser to the Ministry of Social Development in Brazil during the first Lula government . She holds a Ph.D from UC Berkeley in Agriculture and Resource Economics and undertook post-doctoral research at IFPRI on intra-household impacts of rural development and social interventions.

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • Publication
    Mexico's PROGRESA : Innovative Targeting, Gender Focus and Impact on Social Welfare
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-01) Wodon, Quentin; de la Briere, Benedicte
    PROGRESA (Programa de Educacion, Salud y Alimentacion) is an innovative Mexican program that provides cash transfers to poor rural households, on condition that their children attend school and their family visits local health centers regularly. Confronted with rising poverty after the economic crisis of 1995, the Mexican government progressively changed its poverty reduction strategy, ending universal tortilla subsidies and instead funding new investment in human capital through PROGRESA. The program gives cash grants to poor rural households, provided their children attend school for 85 percent of school days and the household, visit public health clinics and participate in educational workshops on health and nutrition. Founded in 1997, PROGRESA grew to cover around 2.6 million families by the end of 1999, the equivalent of 40 percent of all rural families, and one in nine families nationally. Operating in 31 of the 32 states, in 50,000 localities and 2,000 municipalities, its 1999 budget of US$777 million equaled 0.2 percent of Mexico's gross domestic product. The high level of funding for PROGRESA, and reduced funding for other programs, was based on a deliberate policy decision - to favor programs that are better targeted to the poor, which involve co-responsibility by beneficiaries, and which promote long-term behavioral change.
  • Publication
    From Mines and Wells to Well-Built Minds: Turning Sub-Saharan Africa's Natural Resource Wealth into Human Capital
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-05-02) de la Brière, Bénédicte; Filmer, Deon; Samuda, Karelle; Denisova, Anastasiya
    Sub-Saharan Africa's natural resource-rich countries have poor human development. Children in these countries are more likely to die before their first birthday, more likely to be stunted, and less likely to attend school than children in other countries with similar income. Despite the current price downturn, extractives will remain an important part of Sub-Saharan Africa's growth story—using resource rents wisely remains a long term challenge. Governments must choose how to allocate resource rents between spending, investing in human or physical capital, or investing in global financial assets. The return to investing in physical and human capital will be high in countries where the capital stock is low. Moreover, higher levels of human capital make investments in physical capital more productive, which suggests that the optimal portfolio will involve investing in both. Human capital should be prioritized in many of Sub-Saharan Africa’s resource-rich countries because of the low starting point. Investing effectively in human capital is hard because it involves delivering services, which means coordinating a large number of actors and activities. Three dimensions of governance are key: institutions, incentives and information. Decentralization and leveraging the private sector are entry points to reforming institutional structures. Revenues from natural resources can fund financial incentives to strengthen performance or demand. Producing information, making it available, and increasing social accountability helps citizens understand their rights and hold governments and providers accountable. Improving the quality of education and health services is central to improving human capital. Two additional areas are promising. First, early child development—mother and newborn health, and early child nutrition, care, and education—improves outcomes in childhood and later on. Second, cash transfers—either conditional or unconditional—reduce poverty, increase household investments in child education, nutrition, and health, and increase the investment in productive assets which foster further income generation.
  • Publication
    Determinants of Childhood Undernutrition in the Sahel
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-01-11) Hilger, Anne; Lufumpa, Nakawala; Ng, Odyssia; de la Brière, Bénédicte
    This paper examines country and region-specific determinants of childhood undernutrition in the Sahel which, if integrated into nutrition action, could accelerate progress in the region. Additionally, this research includes the analysis of determinants that have not previously been examined comprehensively or included in nutrition action. The authors assessed the most recent nationally representative cross-sectional Demographic and Health Survey data, between 2010 and 2018, from five Sahel countries. Multilevel logistic and linear regression models were used to assess the association between childhood undernutrition and child, parental, and household level factors. Our analytical sample included just under 37,000 children under five years old.
  • Publication
    Jobs for Brazil’s Poor : Social Protection Programs and Labor Supply Impacts on the Poor in Brazil
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-03) Robalino, David; de la Brière, Bénédicte
    The World Bank is carrying out a program of Analytic and Advisory Activities (the Labor AAA) focused on the interface between social protection programs and labor supply and productivity. This focus relates to the debates in Brazil surrounding the issue of helping transfer beneficiaries graduate from poverty and from dependence on transfer incomes. The AAA is structured along two pillars. Pillar I addresses questions related to the impacts of explicit and implicit public transfers on labor supply and savings decisions. In particular, what is the effect of public transfers such as Bolsa Familia and those related to the social insurance system (pensions and unemployment) on work incentives, early entry and retirement, sector choice, and ultimately, public expenditures, human capital accumulation and growth. Pillar II focuses on program design and evaluation. The and goal is to identify how the portfolio of transfer and active labor market programs can be optimized to enhance the employability of the poor, help promote their graduation from poverty, and, ultimately, from dependence on transfer income. In addition, the Labor AAA includes a component to assess public perceptions about Social Protection programs. The Labor AAA is a living program that seeks to respond to questions posed by Brazilian policy-makers as they strengthen the education-social protection-labor market nexus. This approach is helping convene the different stakeholders at the federal level by bringing evidence and policy analysis to the debates.
  • Publication
    Examining Conditional Cash Transfer Programs : A Role for Increased Social Inclusion?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-06) de la Brière, Bénédicte; Rawlings, Laura B.
    Conditional Cash Transfer programs (CCTs) provide money to poor families contingent upon certain verifiable actions, generally minimum investments in children s human capital such as regular school attendance or basic preventative health care. They therefore hold promise for addressing the inter-generational transmission of poverty and fostering social inclusion by explicitly targeting the poor, focusing on children, delivering transfers to women, and changing social accountability relationships between beneficiaries, service providers and governments. CCT programs are at the forefront of applying new social policy theories and program administration practices. They address demand-side barriers, have a synergistic focus on investments in health, education and nutrition, and combine short-term transfers for income support with incentives for long-run investments in human capital. They also are public sector leaders in program administration, using modern targeting, registering, and monitoring systems along with strategic evaluations. Their impact depends on the supply of quality, accessible health and education services and may increase with strengthened links to the labor market, and a greater focus on early childhood and transient support to households facing shocks. CCT programs are facing a number of challenges as they evolve, from reaching vulnerable groups to fostering transparency and accountability, especially at the community level. Centralized programs have been criticized for limiting the engagement of local governments and civil society and it is clear that in limited capacity environments, a greater reliance on communities is warranted. In sum, though promising, these programs are not a panacea against social exclusion and should form part of comprehensive social and economic policy strategies and be applied carefully in different policy contexts.
  • Publication
    Brazil's Bolsa Escola Program : The Role of Local Governance in Decentralized Implementation
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-12) de Janvry, Alain; Finan, Frederico; Sadoulet, Elisabeth; Nelson, Donald; Lindert, Kathy; de la Briere, Benedicte; Lanjouw, Peter
    This study analyzes the role of local governance in the implementation of Bolsa Escola, a decentralized conditional cash transfer program for child education in Brazil. It is based on a survey of 260 municipalities in four states of the Northeast. The analysis focuses on program implementation. Results show that there was considerable confusion over the municipality s role in beneficiary selection and consequently much heterogeneity in implementation across municipalities. Social control councils as direct accountability mechanisms were often not in place and poorly informed, weakening their role. However, electoral support for incumbent mayors rewarded larger program coverage, presence of councils, and low leakages of benefits to the non-poor.
  • Publication
    Unrealized Potential: The High Cost of Gender Inequality in Earnings
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2018-05-01) Wodon, Quentin T.; de la Brière, Bénédicte
    This first note in the series on the cost of gender inequality focuses on the losses in national wealth due to gender inequality in earnings. There is a substantial literature on the impact of gender inequality on economic growth and performance. By focusing on wealth, the approach usedfor measurement in this note is different. Wealth is the assets base that enables countries to produce income Gross Domestic Product or GDP). A country’s wealth includes various types of capital. Produced capital comes from investments in assets such as factories, equipment, or infrastructure. Natural capital includes assets such as agricultural land and other renewable and non-renewable natural resources. However, the largest component of countries’ wealth typically resides in their people. As noted in the recent World Bank study on the Changing Wealth of Nations, human capital measured as the present value of the future earnings of the labor force accounts for two thirds of global wealth. If gender equality in earnings were achieved, countries could increase their human capital wealth, and thereby their total wealth substantially. This would enable them to strengthen the sustainability of their development path. Gender inequality has major economic implications forwomen, communities, and countries in a range of areas. While the cost of gender inequality – in terms of human capital losses - for development is not solely due to losses in earnings, the impact of gender inequality on earnings is key. This is the area on which this note focuses.
  • Publication
    How Large Is the Gender Dividend? Measuring Selected Impacts and Costs of Gender Inequality
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-03-03) Wodon, Quentin; Malé, Chata; Montenegro, Claudio; Nguyen, Hoa; de la Brière, Bénédicte
    Reducing gender inequality makes economic sense apart from being the right thing to do. Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls is the fifth sustainable development goal and is a top priority for governments. Countries can achieve this goal if they take appropriate steps. This note is part of a series that aims to measure the economic cost of gender inequality globally and regionally by examining the impacts of gender inequality in a wide range of areas and the costs associated with those impacts. Given that gender inequality affects individuals throughout their life, economic costs are measured in terms of losses in human capital wealth, as opposed to annual losses in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or GDP growth. The notes also aim to provide a synthesis of the available evidence on successful programs and policies that contribute to gender equality in multiple areas and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).