The benefits of agile implementation in social protection development interventions: a comparative analysis of social protection information system implementations in Timor-Leste, The Bahamas and Indonesia

In this paper, three cases of cash transfer programmes are analysed specifically through the lens of agile programme implementation. These cases are examined from the perspective of funding, planning, procurement, design and overall execution. We identify both controllable and uncontrollable/external variables that impacted the relative success or failure of the programmes, as seen from the perspective of the implementing entity. Specifically, special attention is paid to how the programmes were brought to scale. Programmes that start small, delivering cash to a subset of beneficiaries, and scale incrementally using social protection information systems are defined as ‘agile’ programmes, reflecting an agile development methodology. These programmes are demonstrated in Timor-Leste and Indonesia. Programmes that sought to complete programme design, introducing or completely overhauling a national-level programme at one time, are defined as ‘non-agile’ programmes. This was the case in The Bahamas.