Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Social Assistance in Developing Countries

Social Assistance in Developing Countries


  • Date Published: October 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107562608

£ 23.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • The rapid spread of large-scale and innovative social transfers in the developing world has made a key contribution to the significant reduction in global poverty over the last decade. Explaining how flagship anti-poverty programmes emerged, this book provides the first comprehensive account of the global growth of social assistance transfers in developing countries. Armando Barrientos begins by focusing on the ethical and conceptual foundations of social assistance, and he discusses the justifications for assisting those in poverty. He provides a primer on poverty analysis, and introduces readers to the theory of optimal transfers. He then shifts the focus to practice, and introduces a classification of social assistance programmes to help readers understand the diversity in approaches and design in developing countries. The book concludes with an analysis of the financing and politics of the emerging institutions and of their potential to address global poverty.

    • Provides a global account of the use of income transfers as a primary means of reducing poverty in the South - helping to explain the background to, and rapid spread of, antipoverty transfers in international development
    • Incorporates studies of flagship antipoverty programmes such as Brazil's Bolsa Família, Mexico's Oportunidades, India's National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and South Africa's Child Support Grant
    • Examines the ethical and theoretical foundations of social assistance in developing countries
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'In this complex but accessible book, Armando Barrientos locates the exponential recent growth of social assistance programmes in developing countries in its historical and political context. Uniquely, he weaves together ethical arguments and economic analysis, to explain why social assistance has emerged as one of the most powerful tools for fighting poverty in our times. No-one who reads this seminal book can fail to be convinced that social assistance for the poor is not only effective but also affordable and ethically indispensable.' Stephen Devereux, Institute of Development Studies

    'Armando Barrientos provides a comprehensive and insightful review of the experience of social assistance programmes in developing countries. Readers will value the combination of analytical, empirical and political perspectives the book presents.' Ariel Fiszbein, Chief Economist for Human Development, The World Bank

    'This volume provides an excellent overview of the main conceptual and practical issues in designing and implementing social assistance in developing countries. It will prove useful for policy analysts and students alike.' Ravi Kanbur, Cornell University

    'This book takes stock of a quiet revolution in the global South, the recent spread of cash transfers to the poor, and succeeds in a great way. It is the first scholarly and comprehensive account of this new approach to fighting poverty, linking social policy research, welfare economics and social philosophy. The fresh language and the innovative, non-partisan analyses avoid the fashionable talk and buzzwords common in development debates. The book will be the standard reference on the subject for years to come, written by a leading international expert who is both a scholar and a policy adviser.' Lutz Leisering, Director, Institute for World Society Studies, Bielefeld University

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107562608
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.37kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus. 5 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Introduction:
    1. The emergence of social assistance in developing countries
    Part II. Foundations:
    2. Ethical foundations
    3. Poverty concepts and measures for social assistance
    4. Optimal anti-poverty transfers
    Part III. Practice:
    5. Anti-poverty transfers in practice
    6. Incidence, implementation and impact
    7. Budgets, finance and politics
    Part IV. Conclusion:
    8. The future of social assistance in developing countries.

  • Author

    Armando Barrientos, University of Manchester
    Armando Barrientos is Professor and Research Director at the Brooks World Poverty Institute at the University of Manchester. His research interests focus on the linkages between welfare programmes and labour markets in developing countries, and on policies addressing poverty, vulnerability and population ageing. His most recent books are Just Give Money to the Poor (2010, with J. Hanlon and D. Hulme), Demographics, Employment and Old Age Security: Emerging Trends and Challenges in South Asia (2010, edited with Moneer Alam) and Social Protection for the Poor and Poorest (2008, edited with D. Hulme).

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.