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A critical evaluation of enabling strategies toward poverty reduction : the case conditional cash transfer program in Turkey

Yoloğlu, A. Cenap
The aim of this study is to investigate enabling strategies toward poverty reduction under the broader concept of empowerment through participation. It is believed that such a strategy would decrease the cost of social policies by redefining the problem of poverty as an individual problem rather than a structural one rooted in social and economic policies. By following this reasoning, the main aim is defined as reducing the number of poor instead of poverty itself as a part of wider policies. Within this framework, the central government of Turkey has prepared a project to the World Bank called Social Risk Mitigation Project. Vast number of people has applied to Social Solidarity Fund to benefit form this scheme. In the thesis, the information given by the applicants is evaluated to assess various dimensions of poverty experienced by the applicants, including education, employment, income, and household structure. It is found out that despite the heterogeneity of the poverty experiences across different social groups and geographical regions, there are also common experiences such as wide spread lack of social security among all groups. It is also striking that there are relatively well-educated household head that applied to the scheme. This is the worrying given the fact that one of the main objectives of the scheme is to solve poverty problem by increasing the education level of the targeted poor population.