15, November, 2011
SPOTLIGHT ON KNOWLEDGE

Spotlight on Publications: Conditional Cash Transfers

This selection of publications highlights key resources documenting and analysing important aspects of the Latin American CCT experience. They include Multi-Country Surveys and Country Case Studies, as well as publications describing key CCT impacts like Nutrition, Education and Health.

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MULTI-COUNTRY SURVEYS

Conditional Cash Transfers as Social Policy in Latin America: An Assessment of Their Contributions and Limitations

This paper surveys the implementation and effects of CCTs programmes in several Latin American countries. It shows that CCTs increase school attendance and other education indicators, improve access to health and medical care, reduce poverty in the short-term, and are being effective in targeting those most in need. Nevertheless, there are limitations, such as a limited effect on education quality and nutrition outcomes. This study is important because it not only focuses on successes, but emphasises CCTs’ potential limitations, and makes an interesting call for CCTs to be combined with other social programmes, all which will be useful to understand for those considering implementing CCTs in other contexts.
 
Full Citation: Valencia Lomelí, E. 2008. Conditional Cash Transfers as Social Policy in Latin America: An Assessment of Their Contributions and Limitations. Annual Review of Sociology 34 475–9.
 

Cash Transfers, Children and the Crisis: Protecting Current and Future Investments

This report focuses on an additional potential use for CCTs: mitigating the impact of shocks. Focusing on the financial crisis of 2008-2009, it describes how CCTs were used, what impact they had, and highlights different design elements that seemed to best facilitate the use of CCTs as a tool governments can use for helping the poor and vulnerable cope with shocks. The paper will be useful for policymakers in South Asia and Africa in order to consider how to design, and later use, CCTs as a shock-mitigation mechanism.
 
Full Citation: Fizbein, A., Ringold, D., Srinivasa, S. 2011. Cash Transfers, Children and the Crisis: Protecting Current and Future Investments. SP Discussion Paper No. 1112. World Bank, Washington, DC.
 

Conditional Cash Transfers, Reducing Present and Future Poverty

This report provides a broad overview of CCTs, describing their rationale, design and implementation. It focuses on evaluating the impact of CCT programmes in terms of overall poverty, nutrition, consumption, health and education, and shows CCTs have been effective in achieving these goals. In particular, the cash transfer raises consumption, and facilitates improved nutrition, especially for children. The report is relevant because it shows clearly the potential effects that a CCT programme has when it is well implemented, arming readers with knowledge about how to design CCTs and what kinds of impacts can be expected.
 
Full Citation: Fiszbein, A., Schady, N. 2009. Conditional Cash Transfers, Reducing Present and Future Poverty. World Bank, Washington, DC.
 

Conditional Cash Transfers in Brazil, Chile and Mexico: Impacts Upon Inequalities

In this study, the authors demonstrate that CCTs can have a substantial impact on reducing inequality. They focus on the cases of Brazil, Mexico, and Chile, and find that in all three countries, CCTs succeeded in reducing inequality, though the amount of the decrease differs by country. The authors also note that the high-quality beneficiary targeting is the likely explanation for these effects. The results presented are important for considering how to use CCTs to reduce inequality in other regions.
 
Full Citation: Guerreiro Osorio, R. et al. 2009. Conditional Cash Transfers in Brazil, Chile and Mexico: Impacts Upon Inequalities. Estudios Económicos 207-224.
 

Confronting Capacity Constraints on Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America: The Cases of El Salvador and Paraguay

This publication offers an interesting comparison of the Paraguay and El Salvador CCT programmes, focusing on design features like targeting methods, approaches to achieving short- and long-term goals, transfer amount, and conditionalities. It also compares the role of the community, government, and institutions involved, and the constraints they faced. Interestingly, the authors present a political-economy analysis of how the design of each country’s CCT was chosen, and consider the implications of this in settings with low government capacity and little political support for CCTs. This report is useful as it offers an alternative perspective to account for CCT design decisions, while also presenting readers a valuable analysis of contextual and enabling factors – like capacity and political will – that will help transform the lessons learned to other contexts.
 
Full Citation: Veras Soares, F., Britto, T. 2007. Confronting Capacity Constraints on Conditional Cash Transfers in Latin America: The Cases of El Salvador and Paraguay. IPC Working Paper N° 38. International Poverty Centre, Brasilia.
 

North-South Knowledge Sharing on Incentive-based Conditional Cash Transfer Programs

This report provides an overview of CCT programmes in developing countries, especially in Latin America, offering a summary of key results and impacts. It highlights the importance of incentives to develop human capital and reduce poverty both in the short- and long-term. This publication will be especially relevant because it not only outlines lessons from LA CCTs, but also because the authors specifically discuss how the rest of the world could take advantage of these kinds of programmes, including analysing the possibilities for implementing CCTs in other contexts.
 
Full Citation: Aber, L., Rawling, L. 2011. North-South Knowledge Sharing on Incentive-based Conditional Cash Transfer Programs. SP Discussion Paper N°1101. World Bank, Washington, DC.
 

COUNTRY CASE STUDIES

Welfare Impact of the JUNTOS Program in Peru: Evidence From a Non-experimental Evaluation

This report describes a quantitative evaluation of the effect of Peru’s CCT Programme, JUNTOS. The study finds that JUNTOS has increased income, general consumption, consumption of food, and had led to education and health impacts, with especially strong effects on children under five. This in-depth study of the Peruvian context will help the reader to think about how a similar programme could work in his or her own country, including what could be emulated, adapted, or even avoided.
 
Full Citation: Perova, E., Renos, V. 2009. Welfare Impact of the JUNTOS Program in Peru: Evidence From a Non-experimental Evaluation. World Bank, Washington, DC.
 

10-year Effect of Oportunidades, Mexico’s Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, On Child Growth, Cognition, Language and Behaviour: A Longitudinal Follow-up Study

This study focuses on the education-related results of the Oportunidades (Opportunities) CCT programme in Mexico. Using econometric methods, the study compares beneficiaries who began receiving CCT benefits earlier with those who entered the programme later, and finds that the group with more time in the CCT programme had greater improvement in some areas, like cognition, height, behaviour, and vocabulary, but detected no changes in other aspects, like language development, height-for-age, or BMI-for-age. This study is important as it represents one of the many quantitative studies that have been carried out on Latin America’s CCTs, and provides useful information about the Mexican case.
 
Full Citation: Fernald, L., Gertler, P., Neufeld, L. 2009. 10-year Effect of Oportunidades, Mexico’s Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, On Child Growth, Cognition, Language and Behaviour: A Longitudinal Follow-up Study . School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley.
 

Heterogeneous Impacts of Conditional Cash Transfers: Evidence from Nicaragua

This publication describes the varying effects in terms of poverty reduction that a CCT has on different subgroups of beneficiaries, focusing on the Nicaraguan case. Using econometrics, the writer shows, for example, that CCTs have a larger education impact on boys than girls, and relatively poorer beneficiaries had a smaller increase in their expenditures than more well-off participants. This publication offers an interesting perspective for those in other contexts who are involved in designing CCTs, so that design mechanisms can be used to help overcome some of these heterogeneous effects.
 
Full Citation: Dammert, A. 2008. Heterogeneous Impacts of Conditional Cash Transfers: Evidence from Nicaragua. Discussion Paper N°3653. Carleton University and IZA, Ottawa.
 

The Nuts and Bolts of Brazil’s Bolsa Familia Program: Implementing Conditional Cash Transfers in a Decentralized Context

This report offers an in-depth description of the implementation and design of Brazil’s CCT programme. It analyses key implementation aspects of the Brazilian case, such as targeting beneficiaries, payment methods, conditionalities, and programme monitoring, as well as the key institutions involved and their function. It also pays particular attention to the decentralised nature of the Brazilian CCT. This in-depth, lengthy report is high on detail of the Brazilian case and context, and as such, offers an interesting perspective for policymakers and practitioners in other areas considering how to adapt CCT implementation in their own contexts.
 
Full Citation: Lindert, K. et al. 2007. The Nuts and Bolts of Brazil’s Bolsa Familia Program: Implementing Conditional Cash Transfers in a Decentralized Context . Social Protection Discussion Paper 0709. World Bank, Washington, DC.
 

Impact of the Uruguayan Conditional Cash Transfer Program

This publication surveys the context and implementation of the Uruguayan CCT programme, and in particular, presents an econometric evaluation of the CCT’s impact in terms of education and labour indicators. It demonstrates positive impacts on reducing female child labour, but found that the CCT generally gave disincentives to work. Education and health levels in Uruguay are already very high, so the authors conclude that this accounts for the fact that there was no significant effect on these indicators. This report is helpful because it shows a country context with higher degrees of education, and the possibilities for achieving CCT impacts in such contexts.
 
Full Citation: Borraz, F., Gonzalez, N. 2009. Impact of the Uruguayan Conditional Cash Transfer Program. Cuadernos de Economía 46 (11) 243-271.
 

NUTRITION

Designing CCT Programs to Improve Nutrition Impact: Principles, Evidences and Examples

This report describes how to design a CCT orientated to reduce malnutrition, using the Peruvian CCT programme as a case study because of its success in achieving important nutrition-related outcomes. The report describes different design elements, for example, how CCT design must begin with appropriate beneficiary targeting and achieve interagency coordination and integration. Overall, this report offers a helpful, practical guide for using specific design elements to achieve nutrition goals, and will be useful for CCT designers in other contexts.
 
Full Citation: Garret, J., Basset, L., Marini, A. 2009. Designing CCT Programs to Improve Nutrition Impact: Principles, Evidences and Examples. FAO, Rome.
 

Can Conditional Cash Transfer Programs Play a Greater Role in Reducing Child Undernutrition?

This paper focuses on the effects of CCT programmes specifically in terms of reducing child undernutrition. It shows that undernutrition has been reduced in some countries with CCTs, however there has been less of a focus on identifying potential modifications to CCTs to make them even more powerful in terms of improving nutrition. In particular, it argues that institutions and other social programmes should play a complementary role to CCTs to further lower undernutrition levels. This study offers an important resource to CCT designers in other contexts who are considering how best to use CCTs to address undernutrion.
 
Full Citation: Basset, L. 2008. Can Conditional Cash Transfer Programs Play a Greater Role in Reducing Child Undernutrition? SP Discussion Paper No 0835. World Bank, Washington, DC.
 

Conditional Cash Transfer Programs and Nutrition in Latin America: Assessment of Impacts and Strategies for Improvement

This report focuses on the relationship between CCT programmes and nutrition, explaining nutrition levels in Latin America and how they could be improved by CCTs. Although impacts are different among countries studied, the majority do show an improvement in the nutrition indicators selected, such as stunting and low weight. The report also provides a set of recommendations to improve CCTs’ effect on preschool nutrition, like providing segmented messages to mothers about complementary feeding. Providing a Latin American overview to the issue, this report will be useful to readers from other contexts interested in learning more about the nutrition improvements that are possible with CCTs.
 
Full Citation: Hoddinott, J., Basset, L. 2008. Conditional Cash Transfer Programs and Nutrition in Latin America: Assessment of Impacts and Strategies for Improvement . FAO, Rome.
 

EDUCATION

The Impact of the Bolsa Escola/Familia Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Enrollment, Drop Out Rates and Grade Promotion in Brazil

This quantitative evaluation report focuses on the main education effects of Brazil’s CCT programme. It explains the relevance of education for economic growth and develops a model that shows education indicator improvements due to the CCT. They show that the CCT leads to increased enrolment and promotion rates. They also demonstrate the declining school dropout rate as the CCT expanded throughout the country. This publication is relevant for the South Asian and Sub-Saharan African reader as it not only documents CCT’s positive results in education outcomes, but also because of the detailed information it provides about CCT programmes in the complex context of Brazil.
 
Full Citation: Glewwe, P., Kassouf, A. 2010. The Impact of the Bolsa Escola/Familia Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Enrollment, Drop Out Rates and Grade Promotion in Brazil. Proceedings of the 36th Brazilian Economics Meeting. Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics, Rio de Janeiro.
 

Conditional Cash Transfers in Education: Design Features, Peer and Sibling Effects Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Colombia

This report describes the education-related results of a quantitative evaluation of Colombia’s CCT. The methodology uses three treatment groups that differ in the time and quantity of money received. The results demonstrate important positive effects on many education indicators, while also considering impacts on other family members. The evidence from Colombia will be useful for policymakers and practitioners in other countries who are designing and implementing CCTs with specific education goals in mind.
 
Full Citation: Barrera-Osorio, F. et al. 2008. Conditional Cash Transfers in Education: Design Features, Peer and Sibling Effects Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Colombia. Policy Research Working Paper 4580. World Bank, Washington, DC.
 

Cash Transfers, Conditions, and School Enrollment in Ecuador

This publication describes the implementation and results of Ecuador’s CCT, with a particular focus on education outcomes and the difference that conditionality makes in terms of achieving greater impact. It explains the Ecuadorian context, the programme’s framework and implementation, and examines the difference between the conditional and unconditional cash transfer and the effects of the transfer itself. It finds that cash transfers overall do improve school enrolment, and that the conditional cash transfer had a bigger impact than the unconditional one. This is a relevant publication for policymakers looking for evidence on the education impact of CCTs, and especially to understand the debate between conditional and non-conditional transfers by looking at one specific country context.
 
Full Citation: Schady, N., Araujo, M.C. 2008. Cash Transfers, Conditions, and School Enrollment in Ecuador. World Bank, Washington, DC.
 

HEALTH

Empowering Women to Obtain High Quality Care: Evidence from An Evaluation of Mexico’s Conditional Cash Transfer Programme

This report focuses on women’s disproportionate difficulties in accessing quality healthcare. Using quantitative methods, it shows that Mexico’s CCT has increased the access to health and service quality for women, especially during prenatal care. According to the authors, this is likely explained by their increased access to health visits, increased disposable income to spend on healthcare, and the improved quality of the care they receive. This publication is especially important because of its focus on gender, and because it demonstrates the power of CCTs for improving health, especially for women, highlighting the specific mechanisms that led to this improvement.
 
Full Citation: Barber, S., Gertler, P. 2008. Empowering Women to Obtain High Quality Care: Evidence from An Evaluation of Mexico’s Conditional Cash Transfer Programme. Health Policy and Planning 24 18–25.
 

Conditional Cash Transfers and Infant Health: Evidence from the Uruguayan PANES

This paper uses econometric evaluation techniques to assess the effects of Uruguay’s CCT programme on accessing prenatal health care and on one final health outcome, birth weight. It shows that the CCT did improve women’s accessing of prenatal care and increased the average birth weight of babies born to women in the programme. It is an example of one of the many quantitative impact evaluations undertaken, each made possible because monitoring and evaluation systems were created from the beginning of CCT implementation in most LA CCTs. It will be a useful resource for researchers and policymakers in other contexts working on both impact evaluations and child health issues in terms of CCTs.
 
Full Citation: Amarante, V. et al. 2009. Conditional Cash Transfers and Infant Health: Evidence from the Uruguayan PANES. Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC.
 

Conditional Cash Transfer for Improving Uptake of Health Interventions in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review

This publication surveys the implementation, risks, and results of CCTs based on 6 countries (5 of which are Latin American). The report shows good results in outcomes like increasing health centre visits. On the other hand, some results were not so positive, revealing some CCT weaknesses, such as inadvertently leading to an increase in fertility, or the need to improve health quality before the CCT programme is implemented. This publication offers a useful perspective on the potential risks and weaknesses in CCT design and implementation, using multi-country data and focusing on the specific issue of health.
 
Full Citation: Lagarde, M., Haines, A., Palmer, N. 2007. Conditional Cash Transfer for Improving Uptake of Health Interventions in Low-and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review. JAMA-Journal of the American Medical Association 298(16)1900-1910.
 

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