In 2010, two local researchers in Brazil (Ana Lucia Kassouf and Pedro Oliveira) were granted PEP support to conduct a first and rigorous scientific evaluation of the effectiveness of a national pension program, the Benefício de Prestação Continuada (BPC), in improving welfare of beneficiary elders and their family, or co-residents.
Beyond the substantial positive impacts on the elderly's quality of life (in terms of autonomy and subsistence), the researchers also found that the program's type of cash allowances induced several context-dependent and often unintended effects on labor supply and living arrangements.
For example, the researchers found that the program had significant positive impact on (reduction of) child labor, especially for the youngest of familiy members.
Find more information regarding these conclusions and the researchers's related policy recommendations through the following publications:
- Impact evaluation of a non-contributory pension program on family welfare in Brazil: the case of Benefício de Prestação Continuada (BPC)
Sharing the results with relevant stakeholders
In December 2012, PEP researcher Ana Lucia Kassouf was invited by UNDP's International Policy Center for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) to present and discuss their findings and related policy recommendations with relevant policy stakeholders during a special seminar held at their Office in Brasilia (Brazil).
The event aimed to bring together researchers and managers to discuss public policies in the areas of social security and welfare, through the presentation of two major studies (one of which was PEP's researchers' impact evaluation presented above) whose conclusions and recommendations should contribute to government actions aimed at vulnerable groups, especially the elderly.
Attendants included officials from the Ministry of Social Development and the National Institute for Social Security - together in charge of implementing the BPC program and BPC benefits - as well as analysts from the Institute for Applied Economics Research, a government think tank studying the program.
As PEP researchers' evaluation was one of very few rigorous studies to have been conducted regarding the program's actual impact on welfare, the results were acknowledged by the audience as of extreme importance and relevance, especially considering the size of the program budget and coverage (number of beneficiaries). The evidence presented revealed both the potential and limits of this type of benefits in supporting families living in extreme poverty.
Find out more about the event through the IPC-IG's website (in Portuguese):