Special Issue of Policy in Focus features IDRC supported projects
Despite significant development gains in recent decades, developing countries still face considerable challenges in the fight against poverty. Cash transfer programs have emerged as a relevant tool for poverty reduction. However, critics have expressed concerns that such social grants could lead to dependency among beneficiaries, dissuade them from seeking work, or reinforce traditional gender roles. These issues have been at the core of a series of projects supported by IDRC that have also been prioritised by The International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth's (IPC-IG) research and knowledge-sharing activities. IDRC has supported research to examine how social protection impacts labour markets, entrepreneurship, and investment. This special issue of Policy in Focus shares key findings and lessons from this research.
Authors address concerns about social protection, by exploring both the positive and unintended negative impacts of cash transfers on households and communities, while bringing to light some of the persisting challenges related to the limits of cash transfers. This issue informs current debate on how best to improve social grants and also highlights the power of cash transfers in combination with other programs. It will also better inform policymakers and further discussions about how best to grow in a more inclusive and sustainable manner.