Rethinking Graduation and Social

Protection: A Realistic Aspiration?
Lisa Hannigan , Senior Sector Specialist Social
Prot...
What is social protection? What is its aim?

Tackle poverty, vulnerability and promote
pro-poor economic growth
But what does it mean in the context of
graduation?
Protection (cash transfer)
Prevention (insurance)
Promotion (economic ...
Time bound vs. Escape from poverty?
What are the common graduation
programs?
Asset Transfer Programs
• BRAC CFPR – Targeting the Ultra
Poor
Public Works Progr...
Why are they popular?

Clear exit strategy
Value for money
Return on investment
Why are they contentious?

• Loses sight of the fundamental purpose of
social protection
• Time frames are too short to br...
• Assumes lives and livelihoods are linear
and the assets will make them resilient
against future shocks.
• Assumes progra...
What do beneficiaries think?

“Beneficiaries themselves, of course, have no
concept of the point at which they might have
...
What are the risks of supporting graduation
programs?
• If political support is fixated on (unrealistic)
graduation target...
What does the evidence tell us about the
success of graduation programs?
• Positive results – but for how long?
• Indicato...
Where to from here?
How to use graduation wisely

• Poverty reduction is a long term
investment, not a 3 – 5 year project
...
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Lisa Hannigan Rethinking graduation and social protection

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Lisa Hannigan Rethinking graduation and social protection

  1. 1. Rethinking Graduation and Social Protection: A Realistic Aspiration? Lisa Hannigan , Senior Sector Specialist Social Protection Paba Siriwardana, Social Protection Specialist
  2. 2. What is social protection? What is its aim? Tackle poverty, vulnerability and promote pro-poor economic growth
  3. 3. But what does it mean in the context of graduation? Protection (cash transfer) Prevention (insurance) Promotion (economic opportunities)
  4. 4. Time bound vs. Escape from poverty?
  5. 5. What are the common graduation programs? Asset Transfer Programs • BRAC CFPR – Targeting the Ultra Poor Public Works Programs • Ethiopia’s Public Safety Net Program
  6. 6. Why are they popular? Clear exit strategy Value for money Return on investment
  7. 7. Why are they contentious? • Loses sight of the fundamental purpose of social protection • Time frames are too short to break the cycle of poverty
  8. 8. • Assumes lives and livelihoods are linear and the assets will make them resilient against future shocks. • Assumes programs are replicable across different contexts • Can be gender blind
  9. 9. What do beneficiaries think? “Beneficiaries themselves, of course, have no concept of the point at which they might have graduated” - Nicholas Freeland, Consultant
  10. 10. What are the risks of supporting graduation programs? • If political support is fixated on (unrealistic) graduation targets, a failure to reach them can not only cut the ‘productive’ element of the program, but also the ‘protective’ element • Perverse incentives if thresholds are known
  11. 11. What does the evidence tell us about the success of graduation programs? • Positive results – but for how long? • Indicators for measuring resilience adequate or too low? • Do we need more insights from beneficiaries? • Can the program be undermined by the state? (India’s NREGA impact on CGAP pilot)
  12. 12. Where to from here? How to use graduation wisely • Poverty reduction is a long term investment, not a 3 – 5 year project • Need a broad based comprehensive social protection strategy that addresses lifecycle risks • Examples: Aid program investments in Indonesia and the Philippines

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