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Poverty-reduction failures of targeting social protection to be highlighted at social studies seminar


Development Pathways’ Senior Social Policy Specialist Stephen Kidd is set to present evidence on the effectiveness of different approaches to targeting in social protection at a seminar in The Hague.

The International Institute of Social Studies event, which will be live-streamed for a global audience, will examine how poverty-targeting fails to be ‘pro-poor’ as some of the key international development proponents claim. Stephen Kidd will present evidence that the idea that social protection programmes can successfully be restricted to only the poorest results in far fewer of those living in poverty accessing social protection. This thereby protects the interests of tax-payers on the highest incomes, and so is arguably ‘pro-rich,’ he will contend.

He will also discuss the way in which the World Bank interprets the term based on a flawed logic and suggest how a different interpretation by the institution could lead to higher-impact, more effective poverty reduction strategies.

The seminar in the Netherlands is organised and hosted by the Political Ecology Research Group of the ISS and co-sponsored by the AIDSOCPRO research project (Aiding Social Protection: The political economy of externally financing social policy in developing countries). The seminar will be chaired by Dr Andrew Fischer, Associate Professor in Social Policy and Development Studies.

Stephen Kidd commented ahead of the event: “As our regular readers will know, poverty-targeted social protection programmes are anti-poor. So, why does the World Bank continue to refer to poverty targeting as pro-poor? I am pleased to be able to shed light on this at a highly respected social studies institution.”

The live-stream of the event commences at 16.10 local time, 15.15 London time and 10.15 Eastern Time in the United States on Thursday 10th January. You can join the live-stream by clicking here, and access Stephen Kidd’s recent blogs on the topic here and here.


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