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Invitation: SARPN seminar

The impact of conditional cash transfers on human development outcomes:
a review of evidence from PROGRESA in Mexico and its implications for Southern Africa


Dr Paul Gertler, Chief Economist: Human Development, World Bank

Date: Thursday 27 January 2005
Venue: Video Conference Facility, HSRC Building, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria
Time: 2.45pm for 3.00pm, to finish no later than 5pm

RSVP (acceptances only) are essential: sarpn@hsrc.ac.za
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One of the greatest tragedies of extreme poverty is its intergenerational transmission. Poverty-stricken families tend to invest less in health and education with the result that young adults tend to enter the working world without the skills to take advantage of labour market opportunities to pull themselves out of poverty. Mexico’s innovative PROGRESA programme, introduced in 1997 and since copied by a number of Central and South American countries, provides cash transfers to families to deal with their immediate needs, using them as an incentive for families to invest in longer term goals to develop human capital. It thus differs from traditional approaches in developing countries to improve human development indicators.

This presentation will review the impact of the programme in poor rural areas in Mexico. One review showed that morbidity for newborns in families enrolled in the programme declined by 25% compared to areas which were not included. The programme is now expanding into urban areas in Mexico.

Its relevance for South Africa and other countries in the region will, we expect, form a major element of debate and discussion. We hope to secure a discussant for this debate; details will be confirmed on our website (www.sarpn.org.za).

About the speaker:

Paul Gertler joined the World Bank as Chief Economist for Human Development in August 2004 from the University of California, Berkeley, where he held professorships in Economic Analysis and Policy at the Haas School of Business, and in Health Economics and Finance at the School of Public Health. Gaining a PhD in 1985 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he began his academic career in 1983 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. In 1986, he joined the Department of Health Policy and Management at Harvard University, from which he left in 1999 for the RAND Corporation as Senior Economist. In 1994 he returned to Harvard University as a visiting professor in the Department of Economics, and was appointed to the faculty at University of California, Berkeley in 1996.

In his current position at the World Bank, Mr. Gertler’s priorities are (i) to design and lead the research agenda for Human Development (HD) with the goal of developing an evidence base for policy advice with a focus on program impact evaluation; and (ii) to further deepen the skills of HD economists throughout the Bank with a program of learning and mentoring.

Details:

Date: Thursday 27 January 2005
Venue: Video Conference Facility, HSRC Building, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria
Time: 2.45pm for 3.00pm, to finish no later than 5pm

RSVP (acceptances only) are essential: sarpn@hsrc.ac.za

Reserved parking is available to persons who have accepted invitations; please include your car registration details in your acceptance note. If you do not do so, you will not be admitted to the parking facility.



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