National databases of the poor for social protection (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1007)
This report includes cases studies on Brazil and Kenya
Identify literature on creating or unifying registries to make up a national database of poor households or individuals to be used for social protection programmes. Where possible, identify the background to setting them up, the challenges involved, the lessons learned and any social protection benefits identified.
There is very scant literature on creating or unifying registries to make up a national database of poor households or individuals to be used for social protection programmes (expert comments). Literature on registries tends to relate to the benefits of civil registration (i.e. the registering of births and deaths), or how better to target and register the poor. This report identifies some literature on the issue of creating national databases, outlines the purported benefits of national databases and then explores the background, lessons learned and guidelines from cases studies on Brazil and Kenya.
A national database can either involve bringing different Management Information Systems (MIS) together or leaving the different MIS separate but with mechanisms in place to communicate with each other. When putting in place sharing mechanisms it can help if the different systems have commonalities such as the same software, a common set of fields and a common identifier for individuals (or households) such as a national identity number.
Rao, S. National databases of the poor for social protection (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1007). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2013) 9 pp.