GPP 115 Final

Essay by healyCollege, UndergraduateA-, October 2014

download word file, 10 pages 0.0

Conditional cash transfers are probably the most scrutinized anti-poverty measures and have raised quite a ruckus in the world stage. By giving money to families and placing conditions such as regular vaccinations and purchases of school supplies, governments hope to raise new poverty-free generations. Despite this honorable goal, CCTs have come under fire for being short-term poverty alleviation rather than long-term poverty reduction. In this paper, I will analyze the effect of Brazil's Bolsa Familia on changing the dynamics of poverty in the short term by addressing rises in income and long term by addressing rises in human capital. Additionally, I will bring ideas from other programs such as Mexico's Progresa and authors such as Felipe Barrera-Osorio to improve the traditional form of the CCT.[1: . Walden Bello, "The Conditional Cash Transfer debate and the coalition against the poor," Focus on the Global South, Nov 23,]

Bolsa Familia is a program that distributes aid to three distinct poverty groups-families that earn less than $68 monthly per head with children and/or a pregnant woman, families that earn $34 monthly per head with children, and families that earn $34 monthly per head without children.

The program thus encompasses all poor households, unlike CCT programs in other countries such as Chile that only targets the extremely poor. While money spread across a wider audience could indicate a lower effectiveness of targeting the right people, Brazil's program ranks the highest "when considering the entire distribution of transfers" due to a lower leakage at the higher percentiles." Concisely, this means that Bolsa Familia offers the best of best worlds; it not only provides relief to a larger range of citizens but it is also highly effective in choosing who is deserving of this monetary aid. The blueprint for targeting individuals is unique and decentralized;...