Evaluating the Impact of Egyptian Social Fund for Development Programs

38 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Hala Abou-Ali

Hala Abou-Ali

Cairo University

Hesham El-Azony

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Heba El-laithy

The American University in Cairo - School of Business and Economics

Jonathan Haughton

Suffolk University - Department of Economics

Shahidur R. Khandker

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: July 1, 2009

Abstract

The Egyptian Social Fund for Development was established in 1991 with a mandate to reduce poverty. Since its inception, it has disbursed about $2.5 billion, of which nearly two-fifths was devoted to supporting microcredit and financing community development and infrastructure. This paper investigates the size of the impact of the Fund’s interventions, whether the benefits have been commensurate with the costs, and whether the programs have been targeted successfully to the poor. The core of the impact evaluation applies propensity-score matching to data from the 2004/2005 national Household Income, Expenditure and Consumption Survey. The authors find that Egypt’s Social Fund for Development programs have had clear and measurable effects, in the expected direction, for all of the programs considered: educational interventions have reduced illiteracy, health and potable water programs have lowered household spending on health, sanitation interventions have cut household spending on sanitation and lowered poverty, and road projects have reduced household transportation costs by 20 percent. Microcredit is associated with higher household expenditures in metropolitan areas and urban Upper Egypt, but not elsewhere. The Social Fund for Development’s road projects generate benefits that, by some estimates, exceed the costs, as do health and potable water interventions; this is less evident for interventions in education and sanitation. The Fund argues that its mission is primarily social, and so should not be judged using a cost-benefit analysis. The Fund support for microcredit is strongly pro-poor; the other programs analyzed have a more modest pro-poor orientation.

Keywords: Health Monitoring & Evaluation, Rural Poverty Reduction, Housing & Human Habitats, Population Policies

Suggested Citation

Abou-Ali, Hala and El-Azony, Hesham and El-laithy, Heba and Haughton, Jonathan H. and Khandker, Shahidur R., Evaluating the Impact of Egyptian Social Fund for Development Programs (July 1, 2009). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4993, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1435139

Hala Abou-Ali (Contact Author)

Cairo University

Orman
Giza, 12613
Egypt

Hesham El-Azony

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Heba El-laithy

The American University in Cairo - School of Business and Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 2511
Cairo
Egypt

Jonathan H. Haughton

Suffolk University - Department of Economics ( email )

8 Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
United States
617-641-4852 (Fax)

Shahidur R. Khandker

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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