Tehmeena IQBAL*, Ihtsham Ul Haq PADDA** Shujaat FAROOQ***
The study has assessed the welfare impacts of unconditional cash transfers of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) by using impact evaluation panel surveys, conducted in 2011 (baseline) and 2016 (follow-up round). The panel survey contains information from both the beneficiary and non-beneficiary households, selected through a proxy means test (PMT) formula. The research has measured the welfare impacts of unconditional cash assistance across and over the time where welfare has been defined by various socio-economic indicators, including per-adult equivalent monthly consumption, headcount poverty, multidimensional poverty index (MPI) and child deprivation index (CDI). The results indicate that BISP cash assistance has a positive impact on household consumption while conducting the cross-sectional analysis; however, benefiting households are until facing high rates of poverty as the majority of them have not been transited out of poverty. No sustained welfare impact has been found, as impacts of quarterly cash assistance on MPI and CDI are not significant in our cross-sectional analysis. The panel analysis shows that the recipient households’ economic well-being has improved as measured through child deprivation indices.
Keywords: Welfare Impact, Multidimensional Poverty Index, Proxy Means Test, Poverty, Economic Wellbeing, Social Safety Nets