Role of Cash Transfers in Pro-Poor Market Development Programs Aimed at the Ultra Poor

Oct 31, 2010 | by Jan P. Maes

This document summarizes an on-line discussion organized jointly by the SEEP Network's Poverty Outreach Working Group (POWG) and the Market Access Facilitation Initiative (MaFI) during June 2010. The focus of this discussion was on the role of cash and/or asset transfers in making markets work for the ultra-poor, those without any productive assets and chronically food insecure.The discussion started from the premise that addressing systemic market constraints is a necessary but insufficient approach to improve the livelihoods of the ultra-poor. In addition to making markets work better for the ultra-poor, targeted asset and cash transfers can be an effective way to enable ultra-poor households to benefit from better functioning markets. Asset and cash transfers are a legitimate element of a 'systemic' intervention aimed at improving the livelihoods of the ultra-poor. Based on Trickle Up's graduation program pilot (sponsored by CGAPand Ford Foundation), discussion participants provide examples and guidelines on how best to implement targeted asset transfer interventions.The following MaFI and POWG members actively contributed to the discussion: Jo Sanson (Trickle Up), Jason Wolfe (USAID), Luis E. (Lucho) Osorio-Cortes (Practical Action), Janet Heisey (Trickle Up), and Marcus Jena l (Intercooperation Bangladesh).

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