A welfare state faces two fundamental challenges: targeting those who need support most and delivering benefits in an effective manner. In developing countries, weak data leads to poor targeting, while weak institutions lead to poor delivery. The benefits intended for the poor therefore only reach a fraction of the planned amounts.
Targeting is challenging because of the high costs associated with collecting comprehensive and up-to-date data to determine need. Pakistan’s National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER) covers 87% of the population, serving as the backbone for all PMT targeting of social protection in the country, however, it loses precision over time and is expensive to update.
Effective mechanisms for redistribution form the second challenge. Constrained by weak institutions, developing country governments instead turn to subsidising common, visible goods such as food or energy. These subsidies, while offering some relief to the poor, often end up disproportionately benefiting those who are already well-off.
The project aims are as follows:
This project was funded by the IGC.
Duration: November 2020-February 2021
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