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Brazil, like most of Latin America, discovered social policy through its formal labour markets. This was in keeping with our longstanding traditions of benefits for only a few and exclusion of the rest. In Brazil, the first step away from the contributory social protection paradigm was the 1971 Rural Pension scheme, which provided non-contributory pensions for all rural workers. It was the 1988 Constitution, however, that really paved the way to a new social protection
paradigm. The new Constitution established Brazil’s first targeted benefit: the Benefício de Prestação Continuada (BPC), which is a minimum wage benefit for elderly or disabled people living in poverty. Brazil would have to wait until 1991 for the next step leading to Bolsa Família cash transfer programmes. This new paper published by the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) explains the consolidation of cash transfer programmes as part of Brazil's social protection framework and summarizes relavant policy issues for a South-South dialogue.