New Innocenti Working Paper: Making the Investment Case for Social Protection: Methodological challenges with lessons learnt from a recent study in Cambodia
The focus in this paper is on non-contributory social transfers which are considered to be the main social protection instruments targeted specifically at poor and vulnerable households, and which are financed from general government revenues.
Authors: Cherrier, Cécile; Gassmann, Franziska; Mideros Mora, Andrès; Mohnen, Pierre;
Social protection can be defined as the ‘set of public and private policies and programmes aimed at preventing, reducing and eliminating economic and social vulnerabilities to poverty and deprivation’. It comprises various types of instruments, and includes social insurance systems, labour market policies, and other social transfers. The focus in this paper is on non-contributory social transfers which are considered to be the main social protection instruments targeted specifically at poor and vulnerable households, and which are financed from general government revenues.
"The purpose of this discussion paper is to take stock of the main experiences and unpack some of the common questions raised in relation to the use of ex-ante cost-benefit analyses for the promotion and design of non-contributory social protection policies and programmes in developing countries. It considers the following questions: What is the rationale for the increased interest in cost-benefit analyses? What are the main methodological issues associated to cost-benefit analyses and how have they been tackled? What is the scope to go beyond short-term cost-benefit analyses focused on immediate effects, and estimate rates of return of public investments in social transfers in the medium and long terms? Are there any risks associated with an increased reliance on cost-benefit analyses? Are there any alternatives to the traditional approach to cost-benefit studies? "