Social Assistance in Developing Countries Database Version 5.0

137 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2010 Last revised: 31 Jul 2014

Date Written: July 1, 2010


The Social Assistance in Developing Countries Database is a user-friendly tool that provides summary information on social assistance interventions in developing countries. It provides a summary of the evidence available on the effectiveness of social assistance interventions in developing countries. It focuses on programmes seeking to combine the reduction and mitigation of poverty, with strengthening and facilitating household investments capable of preventing poverty and securing development in the longer term. The inclusion of programmes is on the basis of the availability of information on design features, evaluation, size, scope, or significance. Version 5 of the database updates information on existing programmes and incorporates information on pilot social assistance programmes in Latin America, Asia and Africa. It also adopts a new typology that distinguishes between social assistance programmes providing pure income transfers; programmes that provide transfers plus interventions aimed at human, financial, or physical asset accumulation; and integrated poverty reduction programmes. This new typology has, in our view, several advantages. It is a more flexible, and more accurate, template with which to identify key programme features. It provides a good entry point into the conceptual underpinnings of social assistance programmes.

Keywords: Social Protection, Social Assistance, developing countries, poverty

JEL Classification: I30, I31, I38,

Suggested Citation

Barrientos, Armando and Nino-Zarazua, Miguel and Maitrot, Mathilde, Social Assistance in Developing Countries Database Version 5.0 (July 1, 2010). Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper, Chronic Poverty Research Centre Working Paper, Available at SSRN: or

Armando Barrientos (Contact Author)

Global Development Institute ( email )

Arthur Lewis Building
Oxford Road
Manchester, M13 9PL
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1613066436 (Phone)


Miguel Nino-Zarazua

UNU-WIDER ( email )

Katajanokanlaituri 6B
Helsinki, FIN-00160
+ 358 9 615 9911 (Phone)
+ 358 9 61599 333 (Fax)


Mathilde Maitrot

University of Bath ( email )

Claverton Down
Bath, BA2 7AY
United Kingdom

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