Amarante, Verónica, and Andrea Vigorito (2010). "Conditional Cash Transfers, Empowerment and Knowledge of Rights. Evidence from the Uruguayan PANES" Paper presented at the 7th annual conference of the HDCA, 21-23 September 2010, Amman, Jordan.

The aim of this paper is to understand to which extent conditional cash transfer programs (CCTs) can contribute to empowerment and knowledge of civil, political and labor rights of their beneficiary populations. By discussing this issue we will able to contribute to the debate on which policy actions are consistent with the capability approach. We study the impact of PANES (Plan Nacional a la Emergencia Social), a temporary package of interventions that included a conditional cash transfer program implemented in Uruguay in 2005-2007, on empowerment and knowledge of rights among its beneficiaries. We carry out an impact evaluation based on quasi experimental methods. Fostering social networks and social participation and increasing awareness of a broad set of civil, labor and political rights were explicit goals of this intervention and specific actions were carried out in order to achieve these goals. As in most CCTs, PANES involved conditionalities such as child school assistance and health checkups as well as participation in social activities (Rutas de Salida) and a workfare program (Trabajo por Uruguay). These activities could potentially have exerted an effect on outcomes such as knowledge of rights and empowerment. The main findings of this paper show that trust, participation and access to networks were unchanged. The only effect that was found in relation to social refers to trust in the President and on MIDES among beneficiaries.