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Citation Information

Type Book Section - Generating a system for targeting unconditional cash transfers in Cameroon
Title Safety Nets in Africa Effective Mechanisms to Reach the Poor and Most Vulnerable
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 39-66
URL http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/869311468009642720/pdf/941170PUB0Box300Forum09781464804359​.pdf#page=71
Cameroon has seen robust recent economic growth and is one of the better-off
countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Yet its poverty level has remained persistently
high and geographically concentrated in the northern—rural—parts of the
Social assistance has been largely reactionary, subsidizing food and fuel
prices in response to a crisis, and the results have been regressive (World Bank
2011a). Safety net programs have suffered from limited resources, weak
coverage, and poor targeting; excluding subsidies, they account for only
0.23 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), which ranks Cameroon’s safety
net allocations among the lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa. For these reasons, the
government is dedicating a large part of social assistance spending to a unified
safety net, moving toward unconditional cash transfers (UCTs) targeted to
the poor.
Th is case study presents an improved mechanism for targeting assistance to
poor and vulnerable households in Cameroon. It is based on the work done
since 2009 to review the safety net system and draws on documents that describe
efforts to identify and target poor and vulnerable households (Nguetse-Tegoum
2011; World Bank 2011a, 2011b; Nguetse-Tegoum and Stoeffl er 2012). At
present, the outcomes are being piloted in two of the poorest regions, the north
and far north.
Th is case study is organized as follows. First, it presents an overview of
poverty and vulnerability in Cameroon as well as current safety net programs.
Second, it explains the targeting method employed in Cameroon and the proxy
means testing formula generated. Th ird, it presents ex ante targeting results and
details a design for the ex post evaluation of the targeting mechanisms. A final
section concludes with lessons learned.

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