The Impacts of Safety Nets in Africa: What are We Learning?

49 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2017 Last revised: 2 Feb 2018

See all articles by Laura Ralston

Laura Ralston

World Bank

Colin Andrews

World Bank

Allan Jer-Yu Hsiao

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Date Written: November 22, 2017

Abstract

Safety nets in Africa are a popular policy instrument to address the widespread chronic poverty and encourage human capital investments in the education and health of children. Although there have been considerable analyses on the impacts of safety nets globally, particularly in Latin America, less been done on synthesizing results across Sub-Saharan African programs. This study fills this gap by systematically extracting and standardizing the results across impact evaluations for better understanding of what has been achieved using this policy instrument in the continent. The study finds that these programs on average have significant positive impacts on total and food consumption. The programs show promising results on asset accumulation, such as livestock ownership. However, there is substantial heterogeneity in the impacts achieved across programs for some development outcomes. Through exploring this heterogeneity in impacts, the study puts forward several suggestions for better targeting various development outcomes through modifications in the design and implementation of safety net programs.

Keywords: Disability, Economic Assistance, Services & Transfers to Poor, Access of Poor to Social Services, Safety Nets and Transfers, Gender and Social Development, Anthropology

Suggested Citation

Ralston, Laura and Andrews, Colin and Hsiao, Allan Jer-Yu, The Impacts of Safety Nets in Africa: What are We Learning? (November 22, 2017). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8255, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3076234

Laura Ralston (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Colin Andrews

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Allan Jer-Yu Hsiao

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

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