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Working paper: Extending social protection through work

Rodolfo Beazley

Kirit Vaidya, Rodolfo Beazley

Extending social protection to the rural population engaged in the informal economy in lower-income countries is a global a priority. In spite of a lack of evidence about its costs and benefits and the small scale of many programmes, workfare as opposed to welfare is often put forward as a favoured option for providing social protection for the rural working poor.

This paper studies the reasons behind the renewed interest in workfare, outlines the key characteristics of different types of workfare and welfare schemes, and proposes a simple conceptual framework to assess the relative cost-effectiveness and efficacy of different welfare and workfare policies for labour surplus households facing a diverse set of ‘states’ and ‘shocks’.

This publication was co-authored with Kirit Vaidya.