The Economic Case for the Expansion of Social Protection Programmes

July 7, 2017
Organization: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations

This brief brings together the critical mass of evidence emerging from recent rigorous impact evaluations of government-run cash transfer programmes in seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa.  This brief summarizes the evaluation findings that social protection programs have economic and productive impacts for the economy, for the poor and for national development.  A key lesson learned across all seven countries is that social and economic impacts depend on effective design and implementation.   The evidence shows than cash transfer programmes can generate a broad range of impacts, including on the productive and economic activities of both beneficiary and non-beneficiary households in the communities where they are implemented. The evidence has also helped to address some of the policy concerns and misconceptions regarding cash transfer and dependency.   Building the economic case for social protection is a concrete contribution to country-level policy discussions and actions around expanding coverage of social protection, developing social protection systems  and allocating domestic investment for expansion in countries.