Social Expenditure and the Poor in Egypt

Author(s): Ahmed Galal
Publication Number: ECES-WP89-E

The purpose of this paper is threefold: (i) to assess the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of public expenditure on education, health and food subsidy programs in Egypt, (ii) to broadly analyze reform approaches of these sectors, and (iii) to make policy recommendations for Egypt accordingly. The paper shows that the Egyptian government is committed to providing education and health services and to protecting the poor. However, it argues that on-going reform efforts follow the least rewarding approach. In particular, the current approach relies heavily on increasing and/or improving the quality of inputs rather than on aligning incentives with desired outcomes and enhancing accountability. A shift in approach is therefore suggested, along with concrete measures to improve incentives, empower beneficiaries, and strengthen accountability.

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