This paper assesses the costs, effectiveness and efficiency of social transfers which aim to reduce material poverty, assessed in terms of e.g. income, expenditure, or food security. Whilst acknowledging the importance of other dimensions of poverty, such as social exclusion, and the contribution that social transfers might make to improvements in these dimensions, these concerns are not central to the paper. The paper differs from earlier studies by focusing specifically on very poor countries where the capacity for implementation is likely to be limited. The commitments to increase social transfers in the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID)’s Third White Paper, plus other international commitments to increase social transfers make a study of targeting options for such countries particularly opportune.
Rachel Slater; John Farrington