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CONDITIONAL CASH TRANSFERS AND EDUCATION: UNITED IN THEORY, DIVORCED IN POLICY. Michelle Morais de Sa e Silva PhD, Columbia University. Background. CCT’s: expected to reduce poverty while building human capital through educational and health-related conditionalities .

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conditional cash transfers and education united in theory divorced in policy

CONDITIONAL CASH TRANSFERS AND EDUCATION: UNITED IN THEORY, DIVORCED IN POLICY

Michelle Morais de Sa e Silva

PhD, Columbia University

background
Background
  • CCT’s: expected to reduce poverty while building human capital through educational and health-related conditionalities .
  • International literature: pressure for CCT impact on ed quality indicators
  • This study’s assumption: minimum coordination between CCTs and education at the policymaking level.
research questions
Research Questions
  • RQ1 - What factors contribute to CCTs being adopted (or not) by education policymakers?
  • RQ2 - What factors prevent or enable CCTs to induce new policies for improved education quality?
  • RQ3 - How have conditional cash transfers been politically sustained?
theoretical framework
Theoretical Framework
  • Four bodies of theory/literature that address policy continuity and change
    • Advocacy coalition framework
    • Policy borrowing and lending
    • Punctuated equilibrium theory
    • Civic capacity
  • Theoretical constructs and concepts guided data collection and analysis
methodology
Methodology

Case selection:

  • Appraisal of all existing CCTs
  • Selection of three cases, each with a different structure of educational conditionalities:
    • Opportunity NYC: attendance and test performance
    • Subsidios (Bogota): attendance and completion
    • Bolsa Familia (Brazil): enrolment and attendance
methodology1
Methodology

Data sources:

  • 66 semi-structured interviews
  • Policy documents
  • National and international newspaper articles
  • Webpages of the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank
findings opportunity nyc
Findings – Opportunity NYC
  • RQ1: Opportunity NYC has no buy-in within the DoE. It is seen as an experiment.
  • RQ2: Opportunity NYC is divorced from current debates on how to improve education quality.
  • RQ3: There is no mobilized opposition to the program.
findings subsidios
Findings - Subsidios
  • RQ1: Program implemented by the DoE. Availability of international funding and the influence of consultants were important factors
  • RQ2: No change in education policies. Subsidios is seen as a program that enhances student well-being.
  • RQ3: Supported by teachers, principals, and parents. Support from other groups along party lines.
findings bolsa familia
Findings – Bolsa Familia
  • RQ1: Bolsa Familia is not an ed policy
  • RQ2: Inadequate ed quality in public schools is recognized as a problem, but BF has not created additional pressure to solve that
  • RQ3: The continuity of BF is unquestionable.
    • Civic capacity created by beneficiary families
    • Flexibility to adjust to various political discourses
conclusions
Conclusions
  • The assumption that there was coordination between CCTs and ed policies did not hold
  • CCTs have not been adopted or owned by education policymakers. They have not led to new policies for improved quality of education:
    • United in theory (in the international literature on CCTs)
    • Divorced in policy
  • Political sustainability due to their “popularity” and the possibility of making CCTs adjust to various political orientations