by Gavin O’Toole
Global Government Forum, 13/04/2017
It’s been 20 years since Latin American countries began introducing direct welfare payments for poor households that participated in health programmes and ensured their children attended school – supporting household incomes whilst boosting education and public health. And now the policy tool is being extended into new areas, including international development: what have we learned about how to use it effectively? Pioneered in 1997 in Brazil and Mexico, conditional cash transfers (CCTs) have become a tool of choice in poverty-reduction policies throughout the region, where about 20% of the population – at least 130 million people – now live in households receiving them.