Mapping Social Protection Transfers to Poor Households in Albania
A mixed-method study was developed, comprising of both quantitative and qualitative components. The quantitative component consisted of an analysis of nationally representative household expenditure datasets (HBS 2016), which was used to derive the spending patterns of various socio-economic segments of the population. In addition, nationally representative administrative data on the number and types of households receiving cash assistance and disability benefits were also used, as well as limited data from the MIS (Management Information System) of the cash assistance programme. The findings from the quantitative components were combined with qualitative research, including interviews with stakeholders and policy makers, interviews with users of/applicants for the cash assistance programme, and a workshop held in Tirana in December 2018, which elicited further expert views on the design, implementation and the impact of social assistance measures in the country. That said, there are some significant caveats attached, particularly in relation to the quantitative component of the study. First, in order to properly evaluate the effect of the cash assistance reform (as well as its impact at the household level) a nationally representative survey for the entire 2018 (e.g. EU SILC6) is needed. Moreover, to be able to study the impact of the reform, a full year’s administrative data and MIS data is also needed. The constraints are even bigger on the disability programme, where the reform is still at a pilot stage and implemented in Tirana only.
Nevertheless, and the limitations above notwithstanding, there are some interesting findings stemming from this research effort.