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Innovations in insuring the poor: Index insurance applied to agriculture

Uncertainty and risk are characteristics inherent in agricultural activities, and one of the main sources of risk is weather. Because agriculture depends heavily on rainfall, it is sensitive to weather changes. Agriculture is also vulnerable to…


Successful organizational learning in the management of agricultural research and innovation

To be an effective poverty alleviation instrument, agricultural policies (including research, extension, and innovation) must be based on an evolutionary approach that emphasizes experimentation, learning, and active interactions among diverse…


The supermarket revolution in developing countries

"A “supermarket revolution” has been underway in developing countries since the early 1990s. Supermarkets (here referring to all modern retail, which includes chain stores of various formats such as supermarkets, hypermarkets, and convenience and…


PROGRESA and its impacts on the welfare of rural households in Mexico

PROGRESA is one of the Mexican government’s major programs aimed at developing the human capital of poor households. Its 1999 budget of about $777 million equaled 0.2 percent of Mexico’s gross domestic product (GDP). By the end of that year, PROGRESA…


Evaluating the cost of poverty alleviation transfer programs

One of the common criticisms of poverty alleviation programs is that the high share of administrative (nontransfer) costs substantially reduces the programs’ impact on poverty. But very little empirical evidence exists on program costs. For example, a…


The cost of poverty alleviation transfer programs

This paper proposes and implements a methodology for a detailed, comparative analysis of the level and structure of costs for three similar poverty alleviation programs in Latin America: the Programa Nacional de Educación, Salud y Alimentación…