Person:
Premand, Patrick

Development Impact Evaluation Group, the World Bank
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Social protection, Safety nets, Employment, Skills, Early childhood development, Impact evaluation, Development economics
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Development Impact Evaluation Group, the World Bank
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Last updated: January 4, 2024
Biography
Patrick Premand is a Senior Economist in the Development Impact Evaluation Group (DIME) in the research Vice-Presidency at the World Bank. He works on Social Protection and Safety Nets; Jobs, Economic Inclusion and Entrepreneurship; and Early Childhood Development. He conducts impact evaluations and policy experiments of social protection, jobs and human development programs. He often works on government-led interventions implemented at scale, in close collaboration with policymakers and researchers. He has led policy dialogue and technical assistance activities, as well as worked on the design, implementation and management of a range of World Bank operations. He previously held various positions at the World Bank, including in the Social Protection & Jobs group in Africa, the Human Development Economics Unit of the Africa region, the Office of the Chief Economist for Human Development, and the Poverty Unit of the Latin America and Caribbean region. He holds a DPhil in Economics from Oxford University.
Citations 134 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 13
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Do Cash Transfers Foster Resilience? Evidence from Rural Niger

2020-11, Stoeffler, Quentin, Premand, Patrick

Policy makers are increasingly interested in strategies to promote resilience and mitigate the effects of future climatic shocks. Cash transfer programs have had widely documented positive welfare impacts. They often also aim to offer protection against shocks, but their role in fostering resilience has been less studied. This paper assesses whether the beneficiaries of a multiyear government cash transfer program in rural Niger are better able to mitigate the welfare effects of drought shocks. It analyzes mechanisms through which cash transfers contribute to resilience, such as savings facilitation, asset accumulation, or income smoothing in agriculture and off-farm activities. It combines household survey data collected as part of a randomized control trial with satellite data used to identify exogenous rainfall shocks. The results show that cash transfers increase household consumption by about 10 percent on average. Importantly, this increase is mostly concentrated among households affected by drought shocks, for whom welfare impacts are larger than transfer amounts. Cash transfers increase savings. They also help households protect earnings in agriculture and off-farm businesses when shocks occur. Few differences in household durables or livestock are observed. Overall, these findings suggest that cash transfer programs targeting poor households can foster resilience by facilitating savings and income smoothing.

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Tackling psychosocial and capital constraints to alleviate poverty

2022-04-27, Bossuroy, Thomas, Goldstein, Markus, Karimou, Bassirou, Karlan, Dean, Kazianga, Harounan, Pariente, William, Premand, Patrick, Thomas, Catherine C., Udry, Christopher, Vaillant, Julia, Wright, Kelsey A.

Many policies attempt to help extremely poor households build sustainable sources of income. Although economic interventions have predominated historically 1,2, psychosocial support has attracted substantial interest 3,4,5, particularly for its potential cost-effectiveness. Recent evidence has shown that multi-faceted ‘graduation’ programs can succeed in generating sustained changes 6,7. Here we show that a multi-faceted intervention can open pathways out of extreme poverty by relaxing capital and psychosocial constraints. We conducted a four-arm randomized evaluation among extremely poor female beneficiaries already enrolled in a national cash transfer government program in Niger. The three treatment arms included group savings promotion, coaching and entrepreneurship training, and then added either a lump-sum cash grant, psychosocial interventions, or both the cash grant and psychosocial interventions. All three arms generated positive effects on economic outcomes and psychosocial well-being, but there were notable differences in the pathways and the timing of effects. Overall, the arms with psychosocial interventions were the most cost-effective, highlighting the value of including well-designed psychosocial components in government-led multi-faceted interventions for the extreme poor.

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Social Accountability and Service Delivery: Experimental Evidence from Uganda

2018-05, Fiala, Nathan, Premand, Patrick

Corruption and mismanagement of public resources can affect the quality of government services and undermine growth. Can citizens in poor communities be empowered to demand better-quality public investments? This paper looks at whether providing social accountability training and information on project performance can lead to improvements in local development projects. It finds that offering communities a combination of training and information on project quality leads to significant improvements in household welfare. However, providing either social accountability training or project quality information by itself has no welfare effect. These results are concentrated in areas that are reported by local officials as more corrupt or mismanaged. The impacts appear to come from community members increasing their monitoring of local projects, making more complaints to local and central officials, and cooperating more. The paper also finds modest improvements in people's trust in the central government. The study is unique in its size and integration in a national program. The results suggest that government-led, large-scale social accountability programs can strengthen communities' ability to improve service delivery.

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Demand versus Returns? Pro-Poor Targeting of Business Grants and Vocational Skills Training

2013-03, Macours, Karen, Premand, Patrick, Vakis, Renos

Interventions aimed at increasing the income generating capacity of the poor, such as vocational training, micro-finance or business grants, are widespread in the developing world. How to target such interventions is an open question. Many programs are self-targeted, but if perceived returns differ from actual returns, those self-selecting to participate may not be those for whom the program is the most effective. The authors analyze an unusual experiment with very high take-up of business grants and vocational skills training, randomly assigned among nearly all households in selected poor rural communities in Nicaragua. On average, the interventions resulted in increased participation in non-agricultural employment and higher income from related activities. The paper investigates whether targeting could have resulted in higher returns by analyzing heterogeneity in impacts by stated baseline demand, prior participation in non-agricultural activities, and a wide range of complementary asset endowments. The results reveal little heterogeneity along observed baseline characteristics. However, the poorest households are more likely to enter and have higher profits in non-agricultural self-employment, while less poor households assigned to the training have higher non-agricultural wages. This heterogeneity appears related to unobserved characteristics that are not revealed by stated baseline demand, and more difficult to target. In this context, self-targeting may reduce the poverty-reduction potential of income generating interventions, possibly because low aspirations limit the poor's ex-ante demand for productive interventions while the interventions have the potential to increase those aspirations. Overall, targeting productive interventions to poor households would not have come at the cost of reducing their effectiveness. By contrast, self-targeting would have limited poverty reduction by excluding the poorest.

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Efficiency, Legitimacy, and Impacts of Targeting Methods: Evidence from an Experiment in Niger

2020-09-08, Premand, Patrick

The methods to select safety net beneficiaries are the subject of frequent debates. Targeting assessments usually focus on efficiency by documenting the pre-program profile of selected beneficiaries. This study provides a more comprehensive analysis of targeting performance through an experiment embedded in a national cash transfer program in Niger. Eligible villages were randomly assigned to have beneficiary households selected by community-based targeting (CBT), proxy-means testing (PMT), or a formula to identify the food-insecure (FCS). The study considers targeting legitimacy and the impact of targeting choice on program effectiveness based on data collected after program roll-out. PMT is more efficient in identifying households with lower consumption per capita. Nonbeneficiaries find formula-based methods (PMT and FCS) more legitimate than CBT. Manipulation and information imperfections affect CBT, which can explain why it is not the most legitimate. Program impacts on some welfare dimensions are larger among households selected by PMT than CBT.

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Behavioral Change Promotion, Cash Transfers and Early Childhood Development: Experimental Evidence from a Government Program in a Low-Income Setting

2020-08, Barry, Oumar, Premand, Patrick

Signs of development delays and malnutrition are widespread among young children in low-income settings. Social protection programs such as cash transfers are increasingly combined with behavioral change promotion or parenting interventions to improve early childhood development. This paper disentangles the effects of behavioral change promotion from cash transfers to poor households through an experiment embedded in a government program in Niger. The study is also designed to identify within-community spillovers from the behavioral change intervention. The findings show that behavioral change promotion affects a range of practices related to nutrition, health, stimulation, and child protection. Local spillovers on parenting practices are also found. Moderate gains in children's socio-emotional development are observed, but there are no improvements in anthropometrics or cognitive development. Cash transfers alone do not alter parenting practices or improve early childhood development. Cash transfers improve welfare and food security at the household level, and the behavioral intervention induces intra-household reallocations toward children.

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Efficiency, Legitimacy and Impacts of Targeting Methods: Evidence from an Experiment in Niger

2018-04-18, Schnitzer, Pascale, Premand, Patrick

The methods to select safety net beneficiaries are the subject of frequent policy debates. This paper presents the results from a randomized experiment analyzing how efficiency, legitimacy, and short-term program effectiveness vary across widely used targeting methods. The experiment was embedded in the roll-out of a national cash transfer program in Niger. Eligible villages were randomly assigned to have beneficiary households selected through community-based targeting, a proxy-means test, or a formula designed to identify the food-insecure. Proxy-means testing is found to outperform other methods in identifying households with lower consumption per capita. The methods perform similarly against other welfare benchmarks. Legitimacy is high across all methods, but local populations have a slight preference for formula-based approaches. Manipulation and information imperfections are found to affect community-based targeting, although triangulation across multiple selection committees mitigates the related risks. Finally, short-term program impacts on food security are largest among households selected by proxy-means testing. Overall, the differences in performance across targeting methods are small relative to the overall level of exclusion stemming from limited funding for social programs.

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Impact Evaluation in Practice, First Edition

2011, Gertler, Paul J., Martinez, Sebastian, Premand, Patrick, Rawlings, Laura B., Vermeersch, Christel M. J.

The Impact Evaluation in Practice handbook is a comprehensive and accessible introduction to impact evaluation for policymakers and development practitioners. The book incorporates real-world examples to present practical guidelines for designing and implementing evaluations. Readers will gain an understanding of the uses of impact evaluation and the best ways to use evaluations to design policies and programs that are based on evidence of what works most effectively. The handbook is divided into three sections: Part One discusses what to evaluate and why; Part Two outlines the theoretical underpinnings of impact evaluation; and Part Three examines how to implement an evaluation. Case studies illustrate different methods for carrying out impact evaluations.

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Poor Households' Productive Investments of Cash Transfers: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Niger

2016-09, Stoeffler, Quentin, Mills, Bradford, Premand, Patrick

Cash transfer programs have spread rapidly as an instrument to raise household consumption and reduce poverty. Questions remain about the sustainability of cash transfer impacts in low-income settings such as Sub-Saharan Africa and, in particular, on whether cash transfers can foster productive investments in addition to raising immediate consumption among the very poor. This paper presents evidence that a cash transfer project in rural Niger induced investments in assets and productive activities that were sustained among the very poor 18 months after project completion. Results show lasting increases in livestock assets and participation in saving groups (tontines). Cash transfers also contributed to improved agricultural productivity, but no effects in terms of diversification of other household enterprises are found. Productive asset gains are, notably, largest among the poorest of the poor, suggesting that small regular cash transfers combined with enhanced saving mechanisms can relax constraints to asset accumulation among the extreme poor.

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Transfers, Diversification and Household Risk Strategies : Experimental Evidence with Lessons for Climate Change Adaptation

2012-04, Macours, Karen, Premand, Patrick, Vakis, Renos

While climate change is likely to increase weather risks in many developing countries, there is little evidence on effective policies to facilitate adaptation. This paper presents experimental evidence on a program in rural Nicaragua aimed at improving households' risk-management through income diversification. The intervention targeted agricultural households exposed to weather shocks related to changes in rainfall and temperature patterns. It combined a conditional cash transfer with vocational training or a productive investment grant. The authors identify the relative impact of each complementary package based on randomized assignment, and analyze how impacts vary by exposure to exogenous drought shocks. The results show that both complementary interventions provide full protection against drought shocks two years after the end of the intervention. Households that received the productive investment grant also had higher average consumption levels. The complementary interventions led to diversification of economic activities and better protection from shocks compared to beneficiaries of the basic conditional cash transfer and control households. These results show that combining safety nets with productive interventions can help households manage future weather risks and promote longer-term program impacts.