Moving Ahead: Recertification and Exit Strategies in Conditional Cash Transfer Programs
Medellín, Nadin; Ibarrarán, Pablo; Stampini, Marco; Villa, Juan Miguel
This monograph reviews the processes used by conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) to recertify beneficiaries for services or classify them as ready to leave the programs. Most countries have attempted recertification to identify beneficiaries who are no longer poor and/or to increase the efficiency of the program when a new targeting mechanism is developed. Until recently however, in part because of high political costs, recertification has been slow and only sometimes followed by program exit. Brazil represents an exception, as all beneficiaries must be recertified every two years as a condition for remaining in the program, and municipalities receive financial incentives to support timely recertification. Many countries that have introduced income-generating initiatives to promote both wage employment and self-employment among CCT recipients have placed participants¿ overcoming poverty high on the policy agenda. However, there are no rigorous impact evaluations on the effectiveness of these initiatives, which in any case have only reached a negligible share of CCT beneficiaries. We review the experience of welfare-to-work reforms in high-income countries and extract some lessons that may be useful for LAC countries implementing a CCT.