Conditional Cash Transfer Programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean: Coverage and investment trends

Organization(s): ECLAC
Author: Bernardo Atuesta, Simone Cecchini
Regions: Latin America
Country: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay
Year: 2017
Language: English, Spanish
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This document analyses the evolution of the population coverage and investment of conditional cash
transfer (CCT) programmes, which are poverty reduction initiatives, in the countries of Latin America
and the Caribbean over the past 20 years. The analysis is based on up-to-date, detailed information from
the database on non-contributory social protection programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean,
which is administered by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and
available to the public via the Internet. The database presents information on the various components of
the programmes and the institutions responsible for them and provides data on budgets, expenditure,
coverage and transfer amounts of each CCT programme. The paper finds that both CCT programme
coverage and investment increased significantly in the region during the 2000s, stabilized after 2010 and fell in 2014 and 2015, primarily due to coverage reductions in Ecuador and Guatemala. As of 2015, CCT programmes served one fifth of the region‘s population — 132 million people and 30 million households — with an investment equivalent to 0.33% of regional GDP, or USUS$ 153 per capita.
Preliminary data for 2016 suggest a further decline in coverage.


Este documento analiza la evolución de la cobertura poblacional y la inversión de los programas de
transferencias condicionadas (PTC), cuyo objetivo es contribuir a la superación de la pobreza, en los
países de América Latina y el Caribe a lo largo de los últimos veinte años. El análisis se basa en
información actualizada y detallada proveniente de la Base de datos de programas de protección social
no contributiva en América Latina y el Caribe de la Comisión Económica para América Latina y el
Caribe (CEPAL), disponible al público en internet, en la cual se presentan las características de los
distintos componentes de los programas, las instituciones a cargo, así como series de datos sobre
presupuestos, gasto, cobertura y montos de las transferencias de cada PTC. El documento encuentra que
tanto la cobertura como la inversión en los PTC aumentaron considerablemente en la región durante la
década de los 2000, estabilizándose después de 2010 y experimentando disminuciones en 2014 y 2015
que obedecen principalmente a bajas de cobertura en Ecuador y Guatemala. Como resultado de esta
evolución, en 2015 los PTC alcanzaban un quinto de la población de la región —132 millones de
personas y 30 millones de hogares— con una inversión correspondiente al 0,33% del PIB regional,
es decir 153 dólares per cápita. Datos preliminares al 2016 muestran una ulterior baja en la cobertura
de estos programas.

Related Principles

Universality of Protection

States parties to major human rights instruments related to economic, social and cultural rights such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) have an immediate minimum core obligation to ensure the satisfaction of, at the very least, minimum essential levels of all economic, social and cultural rights such as the right […]

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