Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The multiple potential impacts of CCTs

This paper by Francesca Bastagli highlights the different impacts that CCTs may have on Latin America´s welfare regimes depending on their initial characteristics. This is the abstract:

"During the 1990s, conditional cash transfers (CCTs) were adopted by countries across Latin
America as central elements of their poverty reduction strategies. Alongside other
developments in the area of social assistance, CCTs represent an opportunity for countries to
develop an integrated and inclusive set of social policies. At the same time, particular CCT
features risk promoting the further residualisation and fragmentation of safety nets. Drawing
on the experience of six countries in Latin America, this paper identifies the variations and
recent trends in CCT design and implementation. Based on this review, it considers the
contribution of CCTs to the potential transition from a largely absent or minimal safety net to a
coordinated system of social policies."

This is a key arena for future research on CCTs: we must place them within a better understanding of the welfare regime in each country. Also, it is directly connected to the research Juliana Martínez and I are undertaken on Costa Rica where the question has always been: how can you build universalism from the bottom up?

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