From the Brazilian Income Transfer Program to Brazil Assistance: challenges and achievements according to a theory-driven evaluation research on the program

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has led many countries to adopt emergency cash transfer policies as a way to contain the economic and humanitarian crisis. Such initiatives were developed in a context of exacerbated gender, race, ethnicity and class inequalities resulting from physical and social distancing measures. The article analyzes, by means of an exploratory study and the so-called theory-driven evaluation of the program, the theoretical premises of the Brazilian Income Transfer Program (2003), Brazilian Emergency Assistance (2020) and Brazil Assistance (2021) programs, and their corresponding implementation dynamics. As cash transfer programs are given centrality in the contemporary public agenda, the conclusion is that evaluating their limits and advances - as to theoretical conception and mechanisms triggered in each context - contributes to trace evidence about their effectiveness in addressing long-term inequalities and those inequalities that arise in health emergency contexts.