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Policy expectations and programme reality.pdf

The poverty reduction and employment performance of two public works programmes in South Africa

Anna McCord | September 2004


• Short term employment does not permit accumulation of capital to move out of poverty through asset accumulation and investment in income earning activity
• Effective targeting and duration of employment are key factors in determining impact
• Positive impact on human capital (education/nutrition)
• Training, skills transfer and experience not sufficient to impact on labour market performance

• Supply side intervention to promote participation, but there is no corresponding demand
• Policy focus on short term employment in PWPs ignores labour market reality and secular trend, ie prolonged employment is required
• Consumes scarce administration capacity, therefore opportunity cost
• National programme, less than 5% of unemployed may participate, not significant response

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