27 January 2014

Economists prove importance of transparency in social protection?

"We find that the mistargeting of a cash transfer program in Indonesia is significantly associated with increases in crime and declines in social capital within communities. Hence poorly administered transfer programs have a potentially large negative downside that extends beyond the pure financial costs that have been the focus of the literature to date."
A new paper by Lisa Cameron and Manisha Shah  (ungated). A similar point made by my colleagues Ian and Nils a few years ago based on some qualitative fieldwork.

Cameron and Shah conclude that:
"This study underscores the importance of targeting programs in a way that is acceptable to the a ffected communities. Program acceptance can be enhanced by improving targeting accuracy and by transparent communication of this mechanism and the program's aims to the general population."

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