Research briefing: Antipoverty transfers and inclusive growth in Brazil

Research briefing: Antipoverty transfers and inclusive growth in Brazil

The evolution of antipoverty policy in Brazil suggests a shift in focus over time from the extension of social insurance to incorporate excluded sectors, to conventional social assistance directed at vulnerable groups, to human development focused income transfers. This research briefing looks at the evolution of social assistance in Brazil and possble relevance for African countries.

Key lessons:

  • prioritising human development objectives within social assistance programmes has been vital. Bolsa Escola was stablished on the understanding that without strengthening human development, especially among children, income transfers are unlikely to have sustained effects on the targeted households. Social assistance has been designed to address the intergenerational persistence of poverty
  • Bolsa Família and the social pensions are more strongly productivist than most existing antipoverty transfer programmes in Africa. Assistance is provided to all households in poverty, not just those without it and this has boosted economic activity, particularly in rural areas

This briefing is based upon an IRIBA working paper ‘Antipoverty Transfers and Inclusive Growth in Brazil’ by Armando Barrientos, Dario Debowicz and Ingrid Woolard.

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