Coping with the ambiguities of poverty-alleviation programs and policies: a policy sciences approach
William Ascher ()
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William Ascher: Claremont McKenna College
Policy Sciences, 2023, vol. 56, issue 2, No 6, 325-354
Abstract The many varieties of ambiguity shape the prospects in lower-income countries to establish viable poverty-alleviation programs, appropriately target the poor, and reduce deprivations of families applying for or participating in such programs. Ambiguity can be both a problem and an asset, potentially serving pro-poor purposes but often manipulable to drain benefits away from the poor. The distinctive functions of the decision process, as outlined in the classic policy sciences framework, are applied to cash transfers, pro-poor price subsidies, guaranteed unconditional employment, affirmative action, and resource access for the poor. The guidance for adapting these programs depends heavily on the appraisal function. This article contributes both the diagnosis of how ambiguity can undermine or contribute to the soundness of the poverty-alleviation program selection processes, and how to address these issues. It also demonstrates the utility of the classic policy sciences framework in identifying an extremely broad range of relevant considerations.
Keywords: Ambiguity; Developing countries; Policy sciences; Poverty alleviation programs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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