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Sep 27, 2016

Is BOOST Program Affected by the Current Financial Strain on the G.O.B.?

Judith Alpuche

The Building Opportunities for Our Social Transformation, better known as BOOST, a conditional cash transfer program has been described as the “flagship” of the Dean Barrow administration’s “pro-people/pro-poor” policy – hailed for lifting families to a higher standard of living. It offers financial incentives for adhering to a carefully monitored list of social indicators. But might it be in danger of losing financing due to the current financial strain on the Government? Not so, according to C.E.O. in the Ministry of Human Development Judith Alpuche. In fact, she said, it is going to be around for some time to come.

 

Judith Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Human Development

“We have not been cut; as a matter of fact, if I think about the budget we had for the then social assistance in 2008 and where we are now, it is the largest program, money-wise, that the Ministry of Human Development has; at around five million or thereabouts. So it’s remained and we have actually moved it from a capital projects into our recurrent budget so it is anchored. We are just completing actually an impact assessment on BOOST, because we serious about ensuring that we have a world-class program. You may recall in the early stages of introducing BOOST, the World Bank came in and did an assessment and they saw that it was a solid program; that we had accomplished quite a bit at world standard, including what is called bankerization. So around ninety-eight percent of our beneficiaries belong to credit unions and are paid through that means, which is a standard in the world really. Nobody has been able to achieve that level; that percentage of bankerization. We use our proxy means test that we developed along with the London School of Economics to ensure that it is as objective as possible—it is not infallible, but it is objective. And we really have been ensuring that this program is up to international standards.”

 

The BOOST program has expanded to holistic look at family needs ranging from housing to education to health.

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