What Works for Africa's Poorest?
Programmes and Policies for the Extreme Poor

Paper: 978 1 85339 844 5 / $45.95
Published: April 2017  

Cloth: 978 1 85339 843 8 / $115.95
Published: April 2017  

Publisher: Practical Action
282 pp., 6 1/8" x 9 1/5"
tables & figures
Although great strides have been made, Africa still lags behind other parts of the world in the reduction of poverty. We now know that the poorest people rarely benefit from poverty reduction programs, and this is especially true in some countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Microfinance programs, for example, that can help many poor people improve their lives do not generally reach the poorest people – casual laborers in remote rural areas, ethnic and indigenous minorities, older people, widows, migrants, bonded laborers and others.

As a result, NGOs and donors have started to mount programs explicitly targeting the extreme poor, the poorest and the ultra-poor. This book follows on from What Works for the Poorest: Poverty Reduction Programmes for the World's Extreme Poor and examines such initiatives in Africa. Through a set of carefully selected papers it questions why the poorest often do not benefit from poverty reduction and growth policies, analyzes innovative ultra-poor programs from around the continent, and explores the lessons that emerge from this new and important body of knowledge.

What Works for Africa's Poorest: Programmes and Policies for the Extreme Poor contains a unique cross-section of country-specific case studies from across SSA, combined with cross-country analyses of important programs, written by practitioners, academics and advisers. It is essential reading for researchers and students studying poverty in international development and for policy makers and program managers involved in poverty reduction programs.

Table of Contents:
Part A: Who are sub-Saharan Africa’s extreme poor and how to target them
1. What works for Africa’s poorest? -- David Hulme and David Lawson
2.Defining, targeting, and reaching the very poor in Benin -- Anika Altaf and Nicky Pouw
3. Towards inclusive targeting: the Zimbabwe Harmonized Social Cash Transfer (HSCT) programme -- Bernd Schubert
Part B: Africa’s children and youth
4. Africa’s extreme poor: surviving early childhood -- Lawrence Ado-Kofie and David Lawson
5. Cash for care? Researching the linkages between social protection and children’s care in Rwanda -- Keetie Roelen, Helen Karki Chettri and Emily Delap
6. Promoting employment, protecting youth: BRAC’s Empowerment and Livelihoods for Adolescent Girls Programme in Uganda and Tanzania -- Nicola Banks
Part C: Getting Africa to "work"
7. Female engagement in commercial agriculture, interventions, and welfare in Malawi -- Ralitza Dimova and Ira N. Gang
8. Effects of food assistance: evaluation of a food-for-training project in South Sudan -- Munshi Sulaiman
9. The role of public works in addressing poverty: lessons from recent developments in public works programming -- Anna McCord
10. Exploring potentials and limits of graduation: Tanzania’s Social Action Fund -- Usha Mishra and Emmanuel J. Mtambie
11. Do "graduation" programmes work for Africa’s poorest? -- Stephen Devereux
Part D: Poverty reduction for Africa’s poorest – implementation and policy thoughts
12. Institutional and policy challenges in the implementation of social protection: the case of Nigeria -- Rebecca Holmes
13. The conditions for conditionality in cash transfers: does one size fit all? -- Luca Pellerano and Valentina Barca
14. Effective cash transfers for the poorest in Africa: a focus on supply capacity -- Francisco Ayala
15. Access to justice for the very poorest and marginalized in Uganda -- Adam Dubin and David Lawson
16. Conclusion -- David Hulme, David Lawson and Lawrence Ado-Kofie

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Reviews & Endorsements:
"After 50 years of 'development', the number of Africans living in dire poverty remains tragically and disgracefully high. This book brings together important new insights on the understanding that outsiders themselves must achieve before they can begin to think about reaching the poorest and changing their reality."
- Ian Smillie, author of Freedom from Want and Diamonds
"If responding to extreme poverty was easy or obvious, the world would surely have figured it out by now. But it’s neither easy nor obvious, so we need the types of context-specific insights exemplified by these excellent chapters, which are grounded in an informed dialogue between careful research, hard-won experience and ethical advocacy."
- Michael Woolcock, World Bank and Harvard University