Benefit Levels

Duration of benefits: graduation

duration-of-benefits-graduationThe concept of beneficiaries’ graduation from CT programs has received considerable attention in Sub-Saharan Africa. In some cases, beneficiaries graduate only after they have also received support in income-generating opportunities. Beneficiaries may be connected to a public works or microfinance program, or they may have completed a vocational training course and received a lump sum for capital investment. Other beneficiaries may graduate after receiving important psychosocial support that should help them in the future. Households that graduate from a CT program may continue to benefit from other social support at a level commensurate with their need and ability. Rwanda’s VUP and Ethiopia’s PSNP, for example, have strategies that encourage capable households to graduate from their CT components into public works or other income-generating activities. Nevertheless, graduation is not a requirement of social assistance. In Sub-Saharan Africa, where skipped-generation households are increasingly common, program graduation is not always feasible as a short- or even medium-term goal. Governments that understand specific vulnerabilities among different groups in the country and fully understand the purpose of their CTs will maintain realistic expectations regarding graduation. In Rwanda, which has looked into social protection issues in great depth, the government recognizes that some households, such as those composed only of the elderly or of the elderly and young children, should not be expected to quickly graduate from its state-sponsored CT program. In some cases, graduation is not expected to occur. Either the transfers or some other form of social protection will be needed indefinitely to sustain individuals who cannot maintain their own livelihood. The status of households is closely monitored in Rwanda’s VUP, with targeting reviewed every six months at the local level, thereby ensuring that households are correctly categorized with respect to social protection programs (Republic of Rwanda 2009).