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Non-contributory social safety nets (SSNs), including cash and in-kind transfers, public works and vouchers or fee waivers, are typically designed to provide regular and predicable support to poor populations and have become a popular policy tool to address poverty, vulnerability and inequality. There are numerous arguments in favor of SSNs, including their documented impacts across…


Can cash transfers increase women’s modern contraceptive use? This was the question that researchers recently set out to answer through a systematic review of existing studies on conditional and unconditional cash transfers published in Studies in Family Planning. As the authors of the study noted, extensive evidence has demonstrated that cash transfers (CT) can improve…


Food is a basic necessity of life. You probably know the grim statistics: one in four children are stunted, approximately half of all deaths among children under 5 are attributable to malnutrition, and in the developing world alone, 66 million children of primary school age go to school hungry. These numbers are alarming and unacceptably high. And…


In international development, research is never purely an academic exercise. Its purpose, ultimately, is to provide knowledge that can be used to improve the lives of poor and vulnerable populations. Yet, despite increased focus on understanding the influence that research has on development policy and practice, methodology for measurement is still in its infancy.


Leah Prencipe, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti - I have just returned from rural Tanzania, where I got to see one of the largest social protection programmes in Africa in action. The Productive Social Safety Net provides three types of support to poor and food insecure households:  conditional cash transfers, ‘cash for work’ and livelihood enhancement.


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