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Washington, DC
Africa | Burkina Faso
2012-08-13T11:23:40Z | 2012-08-13T11:23:40Z | 2012-05

Societies have a stake in ensuring that their youngest populations receive regular health check-ups and proper medical care when needed. Children whose health is protected and nurtured have a better chance of enrolling in school, learning, and growing to be healthy and productive adults, which in turns helps a country's development. So how can policymakers and development experts promote this? Increasingly, cash transfers are being used to encourage families to take basic preventive care measures, including regular health care visits for babies and young children and enrolling children in school. The transfers may be conditional, meaning families get the money if they take children for regular check-ups or enroll them in school; or they can be unconditional, in which case families receive the money without any strings attached, under the assumption that the extra cash will give parents the financial flexibility to ensure proper health visits and schooling. Cash transfers are being used across the world to encourage better use of education and health services by offering economic incentives that can significantly boost the incomes of poor households. Transfer programs can be conditional or unconditional, and development experts are still evaluating which works best and under what circumstances. Unconditional cash transfers are easier and less expensive to implement, which can make them very cost-effective.


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