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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Chronic Poverty Research Centre
Title Addressing chronic poverty and vulnerability through social assistance in Tanzania: assessing the options
Volume 209
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
URL https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Lucy_Scott2/publication/265044609_Working_Paper_Addressing_chro​nic_poverty_and_vulnerability_through_social_assistance_in_Tanzania_assessing_the_options/links/543f​beae0cf21227a11b58d4.pdf
Insecurity and vulnerability are widespread in Tanzania. Many people appear trapped in
poverty, lacking the resources to participate in growth. Economic growth has not reduced
income poverty as expected and upward mobility has become limited. Social transfers can
be an important part of a transformative approach to development which can interrupt the
exclusion and adverse incorporation which characterises current patterns of development.
The many sources of risk and widespread vulnerability, together with the affordability and
capacity contexts, create two difficult choices: between running one versus several
programmes of social transfers; and between categorical and non-categorical targeting.
Social transfers should be able to support the risks poor people have to take to improve their
livelihoods, escape poverty and contribute to growth. Transfers should also be capable of
addressing the main reasons for impoverishment, which include divorce and business failure.
A non-categorical transfer targeted at poor households would be best. It would have less
exclusion and inclusion errors. Local focus group discussions have proven effective at
identifying the poor. However, safeguards against corruption would be needed.
Politically, categorical transfers, such as pensions, child allowance and disability allowance,
combined with an employment guarantee might be most attractive as they are simple to
understand and easier to target. But given likely scarcity of financial resources for the longterm
commitments which are required, as well as implementation capacity, one programme
addressing many risks and funded from tax revenues would be optimal.

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