Poverty and universal social protection: Latin American experiences and comparatives perspectives
CLACSO-CROP Programme, Working Group on Poverty and Social Policies (CLACSO), Economics Research Institute (IIEc-UNAM), Seminar on Social Question (SUCS-UNAM) and Social Research Institute (IIS-UNAM) have jointly organized this international workshop.
Latin America is going through times of social, politic and economic changes. During the first decade of the 21st century, Centre-left parties or coalitions have been in government in different countries of the region. In this context, workshop participants addressed the relationship between poverty reduction, universal social protection and welfare regimes, examining what had changed regarding social protection. One of the conclusions was that there is evidence showing that some of the best results registered in the last decades have been achieved by public transfers and universal social services.
The workshop “Poverty and universal social protection: Latin American experiences and comparatives perspectives” took place in
The event was organized by the CLACSO-CROP Programme on Poverty Studies along with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
During the workshop 18 papers from 10 Latin American countries were presented and achievements, goals and challenges of social policies and universal protection measures were critically addressed. Recent evolution of universal policies and selective programs like Conditional Cash Transfers (CTTs) were analysed as well as the effects of Neoliberal policies on the capability of the State to respond to poverty in the most unequal region of the world. CCTs were a particular focus, with contrasting results being reported. It became clear that in-depth studies will be needed to obtain a clear assessment of a program that reaches 19% of the regional population, or a total of 115 million of persons in 18 countries, many of whom were out of the reach of previous social interventions. The question that still remains is to what extent these segmented policies help to achieve consistent progress toward an institutionalized universalism. A scientifically based response to this question is crucial in a region where the long term fight against poverty has shown its weakness: in 1980 the number of poor people was 136 million. Today, that number is close to 183 million (CEPAL, data from 2009). The book that will be published as a result of this event in the CLACSO-CROP Series will try to offer some answers in that direction.