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Susskind

The Freedom to Choose What’s Right

Antonio Lambino's picture

I attended a fascinating session recently on Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) in a developing country which shall not be named for various reasons.  Let’s call it Cadania for present purposes.

CCTs, simply put, “are cash payments to poor households that meet certain behavioral requirements, generally related to children’s health care and education” (The World Bank).  In other words, money is given to a qualified household if it can be demonstrated that children are in school or brought in for regular medical check-ups.  It is, therefore, conditionality at the individual household level.

A massive media content analysis, conducted on thousands of newspaper articles over several years, suggests that press coverage was largely favorable toward the project.  Positive and neutral stories outnumbered negative stories by a large margin over a five year period. 

Building Coalitions: If Not through Mutual Interests, then through Mutual Gains

Antonio Lambino's picture

It’s easy to say that we need to build broad coalitions to bring about sustainable pro-poor change.  Easier said than done.   In a piece entitled “Connecting Nature’s Dots”, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman argues that

“We’re trying to deal with a whole array of integrated problems – climate change, energy, biodiversity loss, poverty alleviation and the need to grow enough food to feed the planet – separately.  The poverty fighters resent the climate-change folks; climate folks hold summits without reference to diversity; the food advocates resist the biodiversity protectors.”

Why the disconnect?  One of the reasons Friedman and his interviewees offer is that when it comes to environmental preservation, the farther humans are from experiencing nature, the harder it is for us to make the connections among environmental issues and other relevant policy and practice domains.