Many thanks to Brian Linneker for his valuable comments, and to the anonymous referees who reviewed the paper.
Women Beneficiaries or Women Bearing the Cost? A Gendered Analysis of the Red de Protección Social in Nicaragua
Article first published online: 28 OCT 2008
© Institute of Social Studies 2008
Development and Change
Volume 39, Issue 5, pages 823–844, September 2008
How to Cite
Bradshaw, S. and Víquez, A. Q. (2008), Women Beneficiaries or Women Bearing the Cost? A Gendered Analysis of the Red de Protección Social in Nicaragua. Development and Change, 39: 823–844. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7660.2008.00507.x
- Issue published online: 28 OCT 2008
- Article first published online: 28 OCT 2008
Conditional Cash Transfer programmes aim to alleviate short-term poverty through cash transfers to poor households, and to reduce longer-term poverty through making these transfers conditional on household investment in the health and education of children. These programmes have become increasingly popular with institutions such as the World Bank. However, the need for conditionalities has been questioned on a number of levels, including its necessity: it has been suggested that the cash transfer in itself may be sufficient to secure most of the programme's wider aims. The example of Nicaragua supports this contention, demonstrating that only a small incentive is needed to bring the desired changes in the uptake of education, since this is something prized by the poor themselves. In health, the Nicaraguan case suggests that demand-side initiatives might not be as important as supply-side changes that improve the affordability and accessibility of services. The Nicaragua case also highlights the long-term limitations of applying such programmes in countries with high levels of poverty and low economic growth. A gendered analysis of the programme highlights the fact that women ‘beneficiaries’ bear the economic and social cost of the programme without apparent benefit to themselves or even necessarily to the household in the short or longer term.