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Title: Good but not good enough : the limitations of a social assistance program for children in South Africa : the case of the child support grant
Author: Zembe, Wanga
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Background: In recent years cash transfer programs have increasingly become the strategy of choice for poverty alleviation in middle and low income countries. Several child cash transfer programs have been implemented in middle and low-income regions such as Latin America, Asia, and Africa, and many of them have been found to be effective in improving child outcomes. South Africa's child support grant (CSG) constitutes the largest cash transfer programme in the country and the continent. Even though evidence exists which shows that the CSG is associated with improved child outcomes,less research has gone into examining how the different aspects of the grant all work together to facilitate or limit it as a policy instrument for child poverty reduction. Such evidence is important in facilitating an understanding of the capacity of the CSG as a poverty alleviation strategy in a developing country context. Methods: This dissertation utilises a mixed-methods approach to explore: 1) barriers to CSG take up; 2) the adequacy of the CSG in supporting its recipients; 3) participants' views on current topical issues surrounding the CSG. Results: Despite evidence that the CSG is important in tackling child poverty, this dissertation found that the grant is not without its shortcomings as a poverty alleviation instrument. The limitations of the grant are influenced by the policy environment, operations, institutions working alongside the CSG, and the social context in which the grant is implemented. Conclusion: The findings raise important questions about the capacity of cash transfers to make a significant difference in the lives of poor children and their families if they are neither substantial nor linked to other poverty measures in developing country contexts. The policy recommendations that have been made can strengthen theChild Support Grant's potential to lift children out of poverty in South Africa.
Supervisor: Surender, Rebecca ; Noble, Michael Sponsor: Oppenheimer Memorial Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: social protection ; social policy