Need to Know travels to Memphis, Tennessee to cover the Family Rewards Program – an initiative that aims to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty by offering cash incentives. The program rewards low-income families with cash payments for good attendance, good grades, steady employment and going to the doctor and dentist. The goal is to increase self-sufficiency, create healthy habits and promote savings.
Full Episode 12/14/2012
Such payments are known internationally as “conditional cash transfers” because the payments are contingent upon individuals making certain efforts to build their human capital. Unlike conventional approaches to poverty reduction which focus on social services, incentive-based strategies increase participation in targeted activities and programs that decrease factors that contribute to poverty and long-term dependency.
Conditional cash transfer programs are currently being implemented in over 20 countries around the world.