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Question of the week 18

What are promising examples of impact assessments of social protection programmes that also cover cost-effectiveness?

Reactions (6)

Roeland Hemsteede - University of Dundee
2016-11-10 20:23

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am not entirely sure if this is what you are looking for but the following study might be of interest to this question: "Estimation of Rates of Return (RoR) on Social Protection Investments in Lesotho" (accessible at The Study is carried out by Maastricht University so I am sure that it is easy to contact the authors.

"The aim of this study is to estimate the Rate of Return (RoR) on Social Protection Investments (SPI) in Lesotho. The objective of the analysis... read more »

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Keetie Roelen - Centre for Social Protection, Institute of Development Studies, UK
2016-11-14 12:21

A recent study published in Science exploring the impact of  'graduation programmes' in six countries across the globe also provides useful information on their cost-effectiveness. It is the first multi-site study that provides comparative evidence and analysis of graduation programmes one year after the programme completion, crucially considering their benefits and costs.

Given their comprehensive packages of support (commonly including cash transfers, asset... read more »

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Luca Pellerano - Technical Advisor on Social Security - International Labour Organization
2016-11-15 17:35

Ex-ante micro-simulations can be a useful tool to undertake cost-benefit analysis in a flexible (and cost-effective) manner.

In a relatively simplistic manner the impact on poverty and inequality of a given set of policy options can be assessed by simulating how the income distribution (as reflected in recent nationally representative income and expenditure survey) would change by the introduction of a given social transfer. Depending on assumptions on targeting, transfer size and administrative costs one can analyze the cost-effectiveness o... read more »

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INCLUDE secretariat - INCLUDE
2016-11-18 13:08

Many thanks to the contributors of this Question of the Week. Their examples show that researchers increasingly recognize the importance of cost-effectiveness assessments. These analyses are particularly important as they encourage evidence-based policies: Policy makers will always have to take costs into account when deciding on how to allocate scarce resources and choose between competing social protection programmes.
Yet, as both Roelen and Pellerano point out, there are some limitations when it comes to the results of these cost-effectiven... read more »

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Erick Nyambedha - Maseno University, Kenya
2016-11-27 15:00

The question regarding cost effectiveness of cash transfers is very interesting. For instance, in Kenya, there is evidence that the Cash Transfer Programmes for the Orphans and Vulnerable Children are showing positive impact with potential positive spillover benefits to the communities, through promotion of local trade through income generating activities involving the CT-OVC recipient households and the community. One point raised in a publication by Handa et al, 2014 is a wake up call on the design and implementation of CT-OVC in Kenya. Handa... read more »

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Frank van Kesteren - INCLUDE
2016-11-30 11:02

In addition, the following study the cost-effectiveness of 48 social protection interventions worldwide, comparing:

- livelihood development programmes

- unconditional cash transfers

- graduation programmes

The duration of assessments impact the outcomes: graduation programmes appear to be least cost-effective in the short term, but more cost-effective when assessed beyond the duration of the programme. read more »

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