“10 Solutions to Help Meet the SDGs in Asia and the Pacific.”
This is a story of people and countries already on the way towards realizing the promises of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Progress has of course not come without challenges: a widening divide between the wealthiest and poorest people, consumption and production patterns that threaten people and the environment, and the world’s greatest vulnerability to natural disasters. This publication shows how transformation can work. The stories on the following pages have all yielded lasting, far-reaching results, and accelerated early progress on multiple SDGs.
“Myth-busting? Confronting Six Common Perceptions about Unconditional Cash Transfers as a Poverty Reduction Strategy in Africa.”
This paper summarizes evidence on six perceptions associated with cash transfer programming, using eight rigorous evaluations conducted on large-scale government unconditional cash transfers in sub-Saharan Africa, under the Transfer Project. Specifically, we investigate if transfers: 1) induce higher spending on alcohol or tobacco; 2) are fully consumed (rather than invested); 3) create dependency (reduce participation in productive activities); 4) increase fertility; 5) lead to negative community-level economic impacts (including price distortion and inflation), and 6) are fiscally unsustainable. We present evidence refuting each claim, leading to the conclusion that these perceptions – insofar as they are utilized in policy debates – undercut potential improvements in well-being and livelihood strengthening among the poor, which these programs can bring about in sub-Saharan Africa, and globally. We conclude by underscoring outstanding research gaps and policy implications for the continued expansion of unconditional cash transfers in the region and beyond.