ADB is supporting the expansion of Pakistan’s cash transfer program, which provides financial assistance to vulnerable households. The project will help broaden the coverage of the Benazir Income Support Program to an additional 2.4 million eligible families. It will also expand and improve a pilot health insurance scheme and skills development program.
|Project Name||Social Protection Development Project|
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Loan
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Strategic Agendas||Inclusive economic growth
|Drivers of Change||Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
|Sector / Subsector||
Education / Technical and vocational education and training
Health / Health insurance and subsidized health programs
Public sector management / Social protection initiatives
|Gender Equity and Mainstreaming||Gender equity|
|Description||The project will support the Government of Pakistan's national social safety net program, the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP). The project will enable the expansion of the cash transfer program (paid to the female head of targeted poor families) by registering an additional 2.4 million eligible families and financing the first few quarters of their cash transfers. In addition, it will support the strengthening and phased expansion of the pilot health insurance and skills development programs to increase income and good health for targeted families. The project will provide technical support and finance part of the scaling-up costs of both programs using a performance-based allocation. The substantial fiduciary risk of the project will be mitigated through the strengthening of BISP financial management systems and capacity.|
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
The last official estimates of poverty incidence were released in Pakistan in 2005/2006, with the headcount index for poverty reported at 22.3%. Since 2007 the Government of Pakistan has faced difficult challenges, including external and domestic economic shocks, economic uncertainty, and security problems. Annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates post-2007 averaged about 3%, while inflation averaged 13.8%, resulting in lower living standards. A recent study, using district-based poverty profiles, estimated poverty incidence for all households in the country at 33%.
Starting in 2007, the government significantly increased its spending on social protection, established a new institutional framework, and approved the National Social Protection Strategy. In October 2008 the government launched the BISP as the national social safety net program. The immediate objective was to decrease the adverse impact of food, fuel, and financial crises on low-income families. The broader goal was to implement the government's redistributive policy by providing regular cash income support to the poor. The main BISP intervention is a cash transfer program providing PRs1,000 per month to the female head of the family. The government's social safety net spending increased from 0.3% of GDP in FY2004 to 0.9% in FY2011 after introducing the BISP.
The BISP uses a transparent and objective methodology to select beneficiaries. It identified 7.2 million eligible poor families (23% of the total population) on the basis of a nationwide poverty scorecard survey using a proxy-means test approach. Initial evaluation findings demonstrate that it is a credible targeting system, covering a substantial number of the poorest in Pakistan. However, 2.4 million eligible poor families are not yet receiving the cash transfer because the female head does not hold a CNIC, which is the key eligibility criterion. Pending families are the most difficult to reach and likely to be the most destitute.
The introduction of a national safety net program and the availability of the poverty scorecard database can potentially lead to more efficient use of resources and better targeting and coordination with the provincial social safety net programs. A well-managed targeting system will enable the replacement, over time, of other inefficient social safety net programs and untargeted subsidies that are still pervasive in Pakistan.
The BISP piloted several graduation initiatives for health insurance, skills development training, small business development loans, and primary education co-responsibility cash transfers. These programs aim to support human development and economic opportunities for beneficiaries, and reduce the likelihood of intergenerational transfer of poverty. The first two of these graduation initiatives are of special relevance for social protection:
(i) Almost 70% of total health expenditures are paid out-of-pocket by families, driving about 4% of the population into poverty every year. Unexpected severe health problems are the most prevalent shock for families. In addition to income loss from being unable to work, medical costs alone can push households into poverty. Health insurance for the poor that covers catastrophic risks and major costs such as births can provide significant financial relief and protection to the most vulnerable families, while improving access to health facilities.
(ii) More than 53% of the target population depends on casual labor as their major source of income it is insecure and risky. Beneficiary family members have extremely low literacy and numeracy, affecting confidence and social participation. Rural employment opportunities (both wage employment and self-employment) could be enhanced through skills training. This will improve poor families' income-generating capacity and boost their resilience to shocks.
In April 2012, the BISP launched a health insurance program, Waseela-e-Sehet (WES), on a pilot basis to provide protection against catastrophic health expenditure to registered beneficiary families in Faisalabad district in Punjab Province through the State Life Insurance Corporation. The insurance package covers full hospitalization for all age groups with an annual maximum benefit cap of PRs25,000 per family. It covers preexisting conditions as well as hospitalization for maternity and child health. So far, 37,575 families have been insured and provided access to WES registered private hospitals on a cashless and paperless basis. Of these expenditures, 40% were maternity related.
The Waseela-e-Rozgar (WER) was launched in July 2011 to provide center-based formal skills training to any selected family member of a beneficiary. In FY2013, 56,600 trainees graduated from training centers providing 4 6 month programs. The current WER is very costly; the average cost of PRs53,000 limits outreach of the program. Most courses are taught beyond the absorptive capacity of BISP potential nominees, who are largely illiterate or semiliterate. Training delivery and competency assessment and certification have fundamental problems. While the impact of current training provision on employability is likely very limited, the reputational risks of training delivery arrangements and the lack of effective monitoring are high.
Under the 18th Constitutional Amendment (30 June 2011), several subjects including health, education, and social welfare became a shared responsibility of the federal government and the provinces. The federal government continues to play a critical role in ensuring that long-term poverty reduction and social protection goals are met. A centrally operated safety net program is better placed to ensure equal chances for the poor to qualify for the cash transfer program, and to coordinate consistent program standards for provincial graduation programs. The provinces play a key role to develop and implement complementary graduation programs, especially highly customized graduation interventions.
|Impact||Reduced income poverty and nonincome poverty for poor families in Pakistan|
|Description of Outcome||Increased resilience of female BISP beneficiaries and their families|
|Progress Toward Outcome||The poverty scorecard survey was initiated in 2009 and rolled out in 2010; as such the update of the NSER was overdue. After completing the desk-based pilot on 4 districts, Phase 1 of the NSER survey was launched in January 2017 to collect data in 16 districts through door-to-door survey using a revised poverty scorecard based on the proxy means test. In addition, self-registration by eligible beneficiaries through a desk-approach was tested. The data collection for NSER update is expected to be completed by January 2018 and all the communication and social mobilization activities which includes issuance and verification of CNIC of new beneficiaries for registration, issuance of debit cards/biometric payment cards to new registered beneficiaries and locating new beneficiaries by Pakistan Post Office are expected to be completed by May 2018.|
|Description of Project Outputs||
Cash transfer program coverage expanded
Health insurance program refined and rolled out
Skills development program strengthened
Financial management and control systems, and policy research improved
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)||
At the end of Dec 2016, 5.73 million beneficiaries are enrolled (CNIC of eligible female beneficiary registered); of which near 5.34 million are receiving the cash transfer payments. As of March 2017, approximately $254 million cash transfer has been made to ADB eligible beneficiaries under UCT. The number of ADB eligible beneficiaries is decreasing as BISP has suspended enrollment of new beneficiaries who qualified on the basis of the 2009/2010 survey beginning 1 July 2016.
BISP and ADB have agreed to design two pilots on graduation. The pilots are expected to be implemented in early 2018 in few districts.
|Geographical Location||Nation-wide, Badin District, Faisalabad, Gilgit District, Muzaffarabad, Nowshera, Quetta|
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects|
|Environmental Aspects||The program involves no infrastructure development activity nor has any secondary impacts on the environment.|
|Involuntary Resettlement||Since the project will not support any physical intervention, no land acquisition will be required.|
|Indigenous Peoples||The BISP is an inclusive program that does not discriminate based on indigenous status. The program beneficiaries are selected based on the results of a poverty scorecard survey using proxy means testing. No questions are included on religion, language, or ethnicity, to ensure participation and inclusion of all poor irrespective of tribe, subtribe, or minority status.|
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design||The main discussions during fact finding were with BISP as executing agency, and its contracted implementing partners. Other discussions were held with Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning, provincial governments involved in education, health, labor and welfare, poor women as beneficiaries of the BISP, industry associations (on the vocational training part), rural support programs (on outreach to the poor) and other development partners.|
|During Project Implementation||BISP has established a well-functioning grievance redressal mechanism at the sub-district (tehsil) level, which is used well by the poor. Civil society representatives, especially NGOs, will be involved in the community-based skills training component. Implementation also makes use of a strong community mobilization methodology.|
|Consulting Services||The inputs of 18 consulting firms and 9 individual consultants, for a total of 637 person months (97 international, 540 national) are required to assist in the design and implementation, and for the monitoring and evaluation of the project activities. Consulting firms will be engaged using the quality- and cost-based selection (QCBS) method with a standard quality-cost ratio of 80:20.|
IT Equipment for PMU: estimated cumulative value of $25,000 with multiple contracts, under shopping procurement method
Office Administration: estimated cumulative value of $50,000 with multiple contracts, under shopping procurement method
|Responsible ADB Officer||Abro, Munir Ahmed|
|Responsible ADB Department||Central and West Asia Department|
|Responsible ADB Division||Pakistan Resident Mission|
Benazir Income Support Program
F- Block, Pak Secretariat
|Concept Clearance||28 Feb 2013|
|Fact Finding||11 Jun 2013 to 24 Jun 2013|
|MRM||16 Jul 2013|
|Approval||22 Oct 2013|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|Last PDS Update||28 Sep 2017|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|22 Oct 2013||25 Nov 2013||24 Jun 2014||30 Jun 2019||-||-|
|Financing Plan||Loan Utilization|
|Total (Amount in US$ million)||Date||ADB||Others||Net Percentage|
|Project Cost||578.30||Cumulative Contract Awards|
|ADB||430.00||22 Oct 2013||269.89||0.00||68%|
|Cofinancing||0.00||22 Oct 2013||309.24||0.00||78%|
|Status of Covenants|
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No tenders for this project were found.
|Contract Title||Approval Number||Contract Date||Contractor||Contractor Address||Executing Agency||Contract Description||Total Contract Amount (US$)||Contract Amount Financed by ADB (US$)|
|ADB BENEFICIARIES THROUGH PAKISTAN POST AND BDC||Loan 3049||11 Aug 2017||VARIOUS||VARIOUS SRI LANKA||Ministry of Provincial Councils & Local Government||OTHERS||22185403||22185403|
|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Social Protection Development Project: Procurement Plan||Procurement Plans||Oct 2016|