Social Capital and Institutions of Poverty Reduction in Africa

Author: Aideyan, Osaore
Year:2012
Pages:180
ISBN:0-7734-4086-0
978-0-7734-4086-9
Price:159.95
There have been many books written about the issue of poverty in Africa. Most of them look at failed policies and criticize what does not work. This text looks at what does work, and outlines how to implement these effective policies. The question of credibility and strategic behaviors in institutions of poverty reduction is an area that needs to be addressed adequately and the author attempts to deal with it in a pragmatic way.

In the academic literature on designating effective institutions of poverty alleviation programs and policies in sub-Saharan Africa, it is rare to find direct assessments of the success of particular social policies and programs. In country after country, one is much more likely to see research on the failure of poverty reduction programs. Very often, contributors to the literature gravitate towards the presentation of raw numbers and figurers indicating that these policies and programs have failed and thus call for the discontinuation of such policies. Curiously, the most straightforward questions that many people outside of the development circle seem to want answered – such as, on what criteria are these conclusions reached, or what particular policies and programs have made a dent in poverty, are less popular in the discipline. This study focuses on the preconditions for success in poverty reduction programs. It proposes a framework which incorporates a mixture of social and political, as well as economic relationships, which these programs embody. Using evidence from original surveys of two micro-finance programs in Southern Nigeria, this policy evaluation study attempts from the standpoint of institutional and social capital theories to accomplish two goals: first, to fill the gaps in the literature by developing an evaluation framework emphasizing institutional design features and a strong network of relationships which lower costs for beneficiaries and providers; and second, to provide critical input for the policy task of designing effective institutions of poverty reduction programs.

Reviews

“A growing disillusionment with mainstream poverty reduction strategies has led to the emergence of creative solutions in reducing poverty, whether in the form of access to micro-savings, loans, and cash transfers. Alongside this emerging trend are attempts to systematically assess the relative success of these solutions. In Social Capital and Institutions of Poverty Reduction Programs in Africa, Osaore Aideyan provides a quantitatively and qualitatively illuminating study of the conditions for success in two micro-credit programs. This book makes a unique contribution to current evaluation research in Africa and the developing world by presenting a theory-based framework in understanding development programs.”
-Boubakary Diakite,
Marquette University

“Reflecting basic concerns on reducing access and service delivery costs in poverty reduction programs in Africa, Social Capital and Institutions of Poverty Reduction Programs in Africa with much clarity synthesizes attributes of institutions and social capital that provide viable means for successful development outcomes - growth, equity, and poverty alleviation. The new and unique interdisciplinary framework of this book will be important to those who are interested in the conditions that account for success and failure of poverty reduction programs in an environment where malfeasance is rampant if not the norm.”
Madeleine Wong,
St. Lawrence University

“Provides a framework for thinking about the benefits of overcoming poverty by addressing the problems of institutional and governance structure and the absence of social capital of service delivery programs.”
-Prof. Pierre Englebert,
Pomona College

Table of Contents

CHAPTER ONE



RESEARCH QUERY
The Research Puzzle: Telling the Story
Rationale and Significance of This Study
Background of This Study
Explaining variations in the performance of institutions of poverty alleviation (Micro-finance Institutions MFI’s): The Social-Institutional Approach
Hypothesizing the issues
Methodology
Indicators
Case Selection
The Plan of the Book


CHAPTER TWO

POVERTY AND POLICY RESPONSES IN NIGERIA
Conceptual Framework of Poverty
Poverty in the Developing World
Geo-political Context of Poverty in Nigeria
Poverty Situation in Nigeria
Attempts to Alleviate Poverty
Access to Credit: The Missing Link in Poverty Reduction in Nigeria
How Can Micro-finance Reduce Poverty?


CHAPTER THREE

EXPLANING NIGERIA’S POOR RECORD WITH POVERTY ALLEVIATION: PROPOSING A SOCIAL-INSTITUTIONAL EXPLANATION

Theoretical Interpretations of Why Things Have Gone Wrong with the Approaches to Alleviating Poverty in Nigeria
The Social-institutional Dimension to Poverty Alleviation: Proposing A Theoretical and Policy Framework for Analyzing Micro-finance Programs
Properties of Social Capital
Properties of Institutions
New Institutional Economics and Credit Provision for the Poor
Summary and Conclusion




CHAPTER FOUR

SOCIOECONOMIC IMPACTS OF MICRO-FINANCE PROGRAMS ON HOUSEHOLD POVERTY
Methodological Issues
Survey Design
Results
Impact of Micro-credit on Education
Food Related Impact
Impact of Micro-credit on Health
Impact of Micro-credit on Shelter
Impact of Micro-credit on Income
Impact of Micro-credit on Assets


CHAPTER FIVE

DO THE INSTITUTIONAL DESIGN FEATURES AND SOCIAL RELATIONS CREATE SUCCESS? EVIDENCE FROM LAPO AND NACRDB

Case studies: Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO) and Nigeria Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (NACRDB)
LIFT ABOVE POVERTY ORGANIZATION (LAPO)
NIGERIAN AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT BANK (NACRDB)
Design and Social Processes of Case Studies
LAPO
Design Features of LAPO
Social Processes of NACRDB
Design Features of NACRDB
Summary


CHAPTER SIX

CONCLUSIONS

INSTITUTIONAL DESIGN, SOCIAL RELATIONS AND POVERTY REDUCTION OUTCOMES: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?

Policy Considerations