Indian news agency interviews CPC Fellow Handa about India's new nationwide cash transfer program

Dec 5, 2012

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently announced the launch of a nationwide Direct Cash Transfer Scheme to help its vulnerable citizens meet their basic needs. The initiative will begin in January 2013 and will be fully operational by April 2014.

Sudhanshu Handa is an expert on cash transfer programs. He has implemented cash transfer projects and has studied their impact in Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, and other countries. Handa is a Carolina Population Center Faculty Fellow and Professor of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The article explains: "Cash Transfer (CT) schemes, more than that Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) schemes are implemented all over the world. It began in some industrialized nations during the 1960s aimed at workers, unemployed and the aged. However, the schemes became popular and widespread with their introduction in the Latin American countries such as Brazil and Mexico in the 1990s. Schemes like Bolsa Familia, (Brazil) and Progresa / Oportunidades (Mexico) have evolved into a sort of models for other countries."

Read the full story: Have money, shape your welfare in The Hans India

Handa was interviewed for the story: "This is an exciting move for India. As you know, cash transfer programs are now taking root all over the developing world (30 countries worldwide). They are more efficient to administer, and allow households to put the money towards it(s) own highest need. The social benefit of these programs can be greatly increased by facilitating links with other sectors."

He continues: "I would also strongly suggest rigorous impact evaluation of the program be designed and conducted from the outset, to ensure money is getting to the right people, and to understand the benefits of the program. Such evidence has been used in many countries to convince skeptics of the merit of cash transfers."

Learn about Handa's work with diverse cash transfer programs here.

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