Conditional and Unconditional Cash Transfer Programs: The Recent Experiences around the World

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume III, Issue I, January 2019 | ISSN 2454–6186

Conditional and Unconditional Cash Transfer Programs: The Recent Experiences around the World

Omar Ben Haman

University of Malaya (UM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract: – Cash transfer programs have become the most popular government welfare paradigm for many developing countries in this new millennium. Cash transfer programs run by providing a small cash transfer to the parents (very often those below the poverty line) could be contingent on certain conditions, such as sending children to school or visiting doctors regularly. Cash transfer programs that have been implemented in many countries across the world, aim to meet basic human development targets. In recent times, cash transfer programs have been carried out in 52 countries. This paper summarises the experiences of some countries with cash transfer programs, analysing and discussing program components and design—such as, payments mechanisms and beneficing identification, as well as selecting lessons learned. Also, attention will be given to show the connectedness between cash transfer programs and gender perspective. This paper will also shed light on cash transfer program as a mechanism for social inclusion. Finally, the most common criticisms of cash transfer programs will be given. This paper attempted to rely on reports and articles, especially by the scholars working on cash transfer programs who have produced several studies since 2000. This paper serves as a useful reference for researchers and academics working on the cash transfer programs.

Keywords: Cash transfer programs, effectiveness, school participation, women’s empowerment

I. INTRODUCTION

Cash transfer programs (CTs) have become the most popular government welfare paradigm for many developing countries in this new millennium (Ben Haman, 2018). Conditional or unconditional cash transfer programs could be considered as a new model aimed specifically at reducing future poverty by promoting education, access to health, increased food security, and improved status of women (Fiszbein et al., 2009). The key target of cash transfer programs is to eradicate the intergenerational transmission of poverty and to motivate the human capital of deprived families (Bergmann & Tafolar, 2014). Notably, experts in the field of development have affirmed that social development could be served solely by investing in human capital and promoting social and economic inclusion of marginalised households (Cookson, 2016).

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