4. Don't focus (only) on the poor
The World Bank was a pioneer and early supporter of cash-transfer programs for the poor. It currently supports more than three dozen countries with such programs, and is working to improve their efficacy and impact in contexts ranging from low- and middle-income countries to fragile and post-conflict states.
While these programs that target poor households have been widely hailed as key components of poverty reduction, in many contexts they often don't get widespread support precisely because they target a small portion of the population. As the bank has acknowledged, "both the public and politicians tend to support universal programs since they benefit the entire population." Though universal programs are more expensive than targeted ones, the former mobilize a broader base, which translates into larger budgets as successive administrations try to capitalize on the popularity of the programs. If the bank hopes to build support within a given country for public benefits, it should start with a program the general population is most likely to back.
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