Do Public Works Programmes Work? A systematic review of the evidence in Africa and the MENA region (Policy Brief)

The trend for conducting rigorous impact evaluations of development interventions has prompted many researchers to start looking more closely at public works programmes (PWPs). This policy brief summarises lessons of impact evaluations conducted in low and lower middle income countries in Africa and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

First and foremost, we highlight how little we know about the effectiveness of PWPs and especially about the impact of the assets that are created within these programmes. As long as strong evidence on the effectiveness of PWPs remains absent, there is little reason to favour them over simple cash transfer programmes.