Choices For Everyone? - A Critical Analysis on Conditionality in Cash Transfers
Sammanfattning: The use of conditional cash transfers (CCTs) as means of combating poverty has increased considerably the past decade. CCTs are safety net programs that transfer cash to targeted poor households, often to the mothers, on the condition that those households make pre-specified investments in the human capital of their children. The conditions are often criticised because the conditions only applies to the targeted poor that receive the grants, unlike laws that applies to everyone. Conditions are imposed on the recipients even if there are, for example compulsory school attendance laws. In this way it implies that recipients are irrational or incapable of acting in their own best interests. This thesis critically analyzes the aspects of conditionality in cash transfers. The analysis is based on a research overview that brings up important aspects that relate to the discussion on conditionality in cash transfer programs, and a theoretical framework consisting of two contrasting theories; paternalism and the capabilities approach which represents two ends in how poor people should be perceived and how development should be carried out. Part of the analysis places conditional cash transfers (CCTs) within the bigger picture of development thinking today. The thesis concludes that there is a need to accurately examine whether unconditional cash transfers (UCTs) is an alternative to CCTs in order for us to go beyond political standpoints in this discussion and instead be able to lean against adequate research. There is also a great need to get a deeper understanding about the realities and priorities of the poor.
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