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Global review of evidence of targeted social protection poverty-reduction effectiveness to be unveiled


Can targeted social protection reach all of the poorest in Mexico City and across the globe?

Headline results of a new global review of the evidence on which types of social protection programmes best reach those in poverty and support inclusive growth will be unveiled at a major conference. 

Development Pathways, with the support of the Church of Sweden, has carried out a review of the latest evidence on the effectiveness of targeting of social protection programmes designed to support tens of millions of people around the world. This includes major programmes such as Prospera in Mexico (pictured), Indonesia’s Program Keluarga Harapan and Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme. To do so, Development Pathways analysed household survey data from 22 countries and 33 social protection programmes across six UN regions.   

The findings provide comprehensive evidence on the effectiveness of different targeting methods in reaching those living in poverty in low- and middle-income countries. Headline findings from the research will be unveiled at next month’s global conference on universal child benefits to be convened by UNICEF, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Overseas Development Institute in Geneva. 

The programmes include both programmes that take a poverty-targeted approach –  including community-based targeting and proxy means tests – as well as universal  lifecycle programmes. 

The full report will be launched to a global audience at a webinar by Development Pathways and the Church of Sweden on 14th March. Ahead of this, headline findings will be unveiled by the partners at the UNICEF/ILO/ODI event at a speed networking session on 6th February.

The results will provide further evidence to inform the ongoing debate that is raging on whether poverty-targeting is an approach that can support the global objective of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals for inclusive growth. In addition, the results come after a submission to the International Monetary Fund to inform its deliberations on a new social protection framework that recommended a shift in focus to investing in inclusive schemes that have a higher impact. It also follows a recent report published by Oxfam that suggested that poverty-targeting contributes to rising inequality.  

The organisers of the international conference on universal child benefits stress that inclusive benefits cover few of the world’s children, despite proving effective instruments in addressing poverty because they reach far more children living in poverty. 

Image: Has the Prospera social protection programme in Mexico support inclusive growth by effectively reaching those living in poverty? Photo by Johnny Miller, founder of Unequal Scenes, used with permission, thank you.



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