Ankara, June 26, 2006—The World Bank and the Government of Turkey are co-sponsoring the third international conference on Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT). The week-long Conference and Workshop is taking place between June 26-30, 2006, in Istanbul and is a follow-up to previous Mexico (May 2002) and Brazil (April 2004) conferences.
The main objectives of this conference are to share experience and knowledge among and between countries with extensive experience in CCT and newcomers on what works and what does not work both from a policy and operational perspectives. About 350 people from around the world representing countries implementing or interested in CCT and their counterparts from the World Bank, donor agencies and relevant NGO are attending the conference.
Conditional Cash Transfer programs provide money to poor people conditional on them making investments in their children's human capital such as school attendance or regular use of preventive health care services. Such programs are relatively new, but have been adopted already in a number of countries. Evaluation results from the first generation of programs show that conditional cash transfer programs are an effective means for promoting human capital accumulation among poor households. There is clear evidence of success in increasing enrollment rates, improving preventive health care and raising household consumption. Despite this promising evidence there are concerns regarding constraints of the supply of social services, tradeoffs between social assistance and human capital formation goals, and the fit, effectiveness and appropriateness under different country conditions -- especially for low-income/low-capacity countries.
During the policy aspects sessions of the Conference the issues to be discussed are as follows:
CCT in the bigger picture of social policy: what are pros and cons of CCT; lessons from impact evaluations: a cross-country analysis; a debate airing arguments for and against CCT ; CCT programs in middle income vs. low-income country settings: and getting the right content in CCT interventions: linking objectives with program design (building human capital, reducing poverty and promoting social inclusion).
At the parallel sessions, the operational aspects that will be discussed will include:
Basic operations: Targeting and implementation mechanisms, monitoring compliance, payment; Management function: Accountability and corruption, complaints resolution, monitoring performance, how to do evaluation; Institutional arrangements: Institutions for implementation, scaling up, improving supply, exit strategies; Beyond basic health and education: Linking CCT to other services, how to include nutrition/ECD, special target groups (indigenous, disabled, etc.), empowerment and social cohesion; Lessons learned and the way forward: Applicability in different contexts: post conflict, low income/capacity, urban/rural contexts, emergency interventions.
Two other key components of the conference will be an Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Fair and a Poster Fair. At the ICT Fair, international technology companies will be exhibiting systems that help low- and middle income countries make use of appropriate technologies to improve the implementation and monitoring of their CCT programs.
The Poster Fair will likewise allow countries to learn about what works, but in this case they will be learning from each other. These sessions will encourage exchanges of knowledge that go beyond the official agenda and enrich participants' experience and understanding of CCTs.