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For Protection and Promotion logo Safety nets are noncontributory transfer programs targeted to the poor or vulnerable. They play important roles in social policy. Safety nets redistribute income, thereby immediately reducing poverty and inequality; they enable households to invest in the human capital of their children and in the livelihoods of their earners; they help households manage risk, both ex ante and ex post; and they allow governments to implement macroeconomic or sectoral reforms that support efficiency and growth.To be effective, safety nets must not only be well intended, but also well designed and well implemented. A good safety net system and its programs are tailored to country circumstances, adequate in their coverage and generosity, equitable, cost-effective, incentive compatible, and sustainable. Good safety nets are also dynamic and change over time as the economy changes or as management problems are solved and new standards are set.Drawing on a wealth of research, policy, and operational documents from both academia and the World Bank’s work in over 100 countries, For Protection and Promotion provides pragmatic and informed guidance on how to design and implement safety nets, including useful information on how to define eligibility and select beneficiaries, set and pay benefits, and monitor and evaluate programs and systems. The book synthesizes the literature to date and enriches it with new examples on various program options—cash transfers (conditional and unconditional), in-kind transfers, price subsidies, fee waivers, and public works. It concludes with a comprehensive diagnostic for fitting safety net systems and programs to specific circumstances.

Publisher: World Bank

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