Child poverty: a role for cash transfers? West and Central Africa

Briefing papers,Research reports and studies
February 2009
Rebecca Holmes and Armando Barrientos
In view of the particularly severe, multiple and intersecting deprivations, vulnerabilities and risks faced by children and their caregivers in the West Central Africa region, a transformative social protection framework is adopted for an analytical view that encompasses protective, preventative, promotive and transformative social protection measures. Operationally, the framework refers to social protection as the set of all initiatives, both formal and informal, that provide social assistance, social services, social insurance and social equity measures in an integrated manner that addresses all aspects of poverty and vulnerability as experienced by children.

This report, the third in a series of regional thematic reports produced for a study on social protection and children in West Central Africa, focuses specifically on one kind of social protection mechanism – social assistance in the form of cash transfers – and explores how this can contribute to addressing specific risks and vulnerabilities faced by children in the region. There are still very few cash transfer programmes in West Central Africa: those that exist are recent and often small-scale pilot schemes. Interest in this type of social protection is growing among policy-makers in the region, however, partly as a result of positive experiences in other parts of Africa and elsewhere in the developing world.

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