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Misaligned social policy? Explaining the origins and limitations of cash transfers in Sudan

Ali, Muez and Mann, Laura (2023) Misaligned social policy? Explaining the origins and limitations of cash transfers in Sudan. Development and Change, 54 (4). pp. 841-869. ISSN 0012-155X

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Identification Number: 10.1111/dech.12784


This article examines whether the transitional government in the wake of the December 2018 Sudanese revolution succeeded in realigning social policy with public demands. The article focuses on the evolution of cash transfer programmes from the 2012 cash programme under the Ingaz regime to the transitional government's programme 2021. While the recent programme was popularly viewed as a ‘World Bank programme’, its originators were in fact Sudanese professionals. Similarly, the Ingaz regime experimented with cash transfers before seeking out World Bank technical support. In this sense, cash transfers cannot be seen as an external imposition, as domestic actors have favoured them across different regimes. Yet, their appeal may still reflect the ‘choicelessness’ that Thandika Mkandawire associated with structural adjustment, as in both cases cash transfers were introduced as part of broader economic reform. Sudan's case is distinct in the sense that its domestic policy makers did not begrudgingly accept cash transfers but were enthusiastic instigators of them. The article traces the origins of this enthusiasm within Sudan's recent political history and explores the way in which alignment with international mainstream policy making locks Sudan into a bind. The country urgently needs to reverse the fragmentation of social policy along geographic and racial lines, yet these programmes do little to overcome such regional and racial inequalities. Thus, even after a popular revolution displaced the prevailing political settlement and called for radical change, policy makers remain misaligned to public demands.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: J Political Science
H Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2023 18:51
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2024 20:28

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