Direct Income and Nutrition Intervention

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2 Socioeconomics of Rural Development Note on Direct Income and Nutrition Intervention , created by TheMaker on 03/15/2015.

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Conditional Cash Transfer: Conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs aim to reduce poverty by making welfare programs conditional upon the receivers' actions. The government (or a charity) only transfers the money to persons who meet certain criteria. These criteria may include enrolling children into public schools, getting regular check-ups at the doctor's office, receiving vaccinations, or the like. CCTs are unique in seeking to help the current generation in poverty, as well as breaking the cycle of poverty for the next through the development of human capital. Effectiveness of the program: Evaluation results are available for PROGRESA in Mexico,PETI in Brazil and the Atencion a Crisis in Nicaragua.These evaluations reveal that conditional cash transfers can provide effective incentives for investing in the poor’s human capital. CCTs have affected not only the overall level of consumption, but also the composition of consumption. There is a good deal of evidence that households that receive CCTs spend more on food and, within the food basket, on higher-quality sources of nutrients than do households that do not receive the transfer but have comparable overall income or consumption levels. In Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Turkey, where school enrollment rates among girls were lower than among boys, CCTs have helped reduce this gender gap. CCTs have resulted in sizeable reductions in poverty among recipients—especially when the transfer has been sufficient, well targeted, and structured in a way that does not discourage recipients from taking other actions to escape poverty. Because CCTs provide a steady income, they have helped protect poor households from the worst effects of unemployment, catastrophic illness, and other sudden income shocks. And making cash transfers to women, as virtually all CCTs do, may have increased the bargaining power of women. Obstacles and failed program Although the benefits of Conditional Cash Transfer programs across the world have been widely noted, there remains a series of obstacles to their success that have caused some programs to be stunted or terminated completely. External factors delay in efficiency and resources that, among other factors, led to the program's termination. Delays can also be caused by difficulties in developing the Program Management Information System (MIS).One such delay in Mexico's Oportunidades program caused 27% of its targeted population not to receive any transfers after two years of implementation.In addition to unscheduled delays, other external factors that can hinder a CCT's success pertain to unexpected financial crisis Exclusion Another common obstacle to success in most CCTs is exclusion of needy homes in the targeting process. In an assessment by the World Bank, much exclusion was due to remote communities' inability to access schools or clinics.Evaluation evident in both community-based targeting and self-targeting approaches Distrust Targeted populations' distrust of the program due to lack of adequate information has been noted by at least three case studies to be a leading factor in the Conditional Cash Transfer programs’ downfalls. The extensive study by the UN Development Programme on Nicaragua's Social Protection Network (RPS) reveals that the level of distrust of the program was so high that a domestic publicity campaign could have possibly saved the RPS from extinction. Unconditional VS Conditional Cash Transfer: There is currently much discussion about whether conditionality, or conditions for the cash transfer, is necessary or important to a cash transfer program. Research, such as the pilot conditional cash transfer program in Indonesia called Generasi, examined the importance of conditionality.One report looks at data from Mexico's Oportunidades/Progresa program, which looks at families who accidentally did not receive forms that monitor school attendance and therefore received unconditional cash transfers. It then compares them with those households that did receive the forms. It was shown that conditionality had the strongest impact on children's attendance to secondary school, as enrollment rates in secondary school were higher for those that received the forms.Another report on an experiment in Malawi is researching the importance of conditionality among families with school-age girls. The program was conducted, with data collected between October 2007 and June 2010. It was found that the treatment arm providing conditional cash transfer programs had higher enrollment rates, as well as higher scores in independently administered tests of cognitive ability, mathematics and English reading comprehension. However, the UCT treatment arm had a much lower incidence of pregnancy and marriage among schoolage girls. A strong argument against the conditionality of social cash transfers is proposed by proponents of a rights-based approach to development. From a human rights perspective, cash transfers are a means to ensure the human rights to social protection and an adequate standard of living for all members of society, including first and foremost the fundamental right to food. States have the duty to ensure those rights with a maximum of available resources. While reducing poverty in general, conditional cash transfers have shown to often exclude those who need it the most, violating the human rights principle of non-discrimination and equality The following program in Malawi is an example of an unconditional cash transfer:The Mchinji Pilot Social Cash Transfer Scheme is part of the larger Malawi Social Protection Policy and Framework, and began in April 2006. It is mainly financed by UNICEF and the National AIDS Commission.The objectives of the scheme are to reduce poverty of people in the pilot area who are ultra poor and labor constrained, increase school enrolment and attendance, and to generate information regarding the feasibility of a cash transfer program as part of a Social Protection Programme for Malawi. The goal for this program is to reduce the ultra poverty rate from the 22% rate in 2007 to 10% by 2015.This program targets those households that are ultra poor and those who are labor constrained, defined as either a household in which no able-bodied members 19-64 can work due to chronic sickness or disability or a household with one-able bodied member that has to care for more than three dependents. About 22% of Malawi as of 2007 was ultra-poor, living on less than 20 cents a day, and of that group 10% are labor constrained.The program would give anywhere from 600 kwacha ($4 US) monthly for a one person household to 1800 kwacha ($13 US) monthly for a four or more person family. There is also an extra bonus of 200 kwacha for children enrolled in primary school and 400 kwacha for children enrolled in secondary school. The location for the program is in the Mchinji District, the 14th poorest district out of 28 in Malawi.It was chosen for its average poverty level of all the districts in Malawi and its proximity to the capital.South AfricaSouth Africa's unconditional Child Support Grant (CSG) in which cash grants are made to families with no strings attached. However, in contrast to the market-generated income increases that identified low nutritional elasticities in earlier studies, the income increases generated by the South African cash transfers are almost exclusively assigned to women. Taking advantage of a slow program roll-out that created exogenous variation in the extent of CSGtreatment received by beneficiaries, we utilizes recent methods on continuous treatment to estimate the impact of these transfers on child nutrition. Large dosages of CSG treatment early in life are shown to significantly boost child's nutrition. Additionally, our calculations suggest that discounted rate of return on CSG payments is between a 160% and 230%.Disincentive effect of Food aid programsdisincentive hypothesis, which argues that food aid tends to lower food prices, reduce domestic production and thus worsen the country’s economic problems.DIsincentive effect of food aid programs in food production increase food supply to recipient country depresses price received by the farmer.Support inadequate agriculture policies Biofortification here may occasionally be difficulties in getting biofortified foods to be accepted if they have different characteristics to their unfortified counterparts. For example, vitamin A enhanced foods are often dark yellow or orange in color – this for example is problematic for many in Africa, where white maize is eaten by humans and yellow maize is negatively associated with animal feed or food aid, or where white-fleshed sweet potato is preferred to its moister, orange-fleshed counterpart.Some qualities may be relatively simple to mitigate or breed out of biofortified crops according to consumer demand, such as the moistness of the sweet potato, whereas. others cannot be.Where this is the case, care must be taken to convince the local farmers and consumers that the crop in question is worth growing and consuming. This can be done through improving the cultivation qualities of the plant, for example making the orange sweet-potato mature earlier than its white-fleshed cousin so it can be taken to market earlier. It can also be done through public health education, making the benefits of eating biofortified foods apparent to consumers. Trials suggest that the rural poor “will consume biofortified versions of food staples even if the color of the food has been changed…if they are educated as to the benefit”.While other micronutrients such as zinc or iron can be added to crops without noticeably changing their taste or appearance,some researchers emphasize the importance of ensuring that consumers do not think that their food has been altered without their authorization or knowledge.Some have criticized biofortification programs because they may encourage “further simplification of human diets and food systems”,because “[biofortification is] a strategy that aims to concentrate more nutrients in few staple foods [which] may contribute to further simplifying diets already overly dependant on a few carbohydrate staples.” This may seem irresponsible, as lack of access to a diverse and balanced diet is the major cause of malnutrition. As a result these critics urge caution, and the use of biofortification as part of a larger strategy involving diversification of foods in the developing world.Advocates of biofortification accept this as a long term strategy, but warn that substantially increasing diet diversity will take “many decades and untold billions of dollars”,and that biofortification could be an effective strategy to help reduce micronutrient malnutrition

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