This paper evaluates the role played by Indonesia's Social Safety Net Scholarships Program in reducing school drop-out rates during the Asian financial crisis. The expectation was that many families would find it difficult to keep their children in school and drop-out rates would be high. The scholarships are found to have been effective in reducing drop-outs at the level of schooling at which students were historically most at the risk of dropping out-lower secondary school. At this level drop-outs were reduced by about 3.0% points (or 38%) and costs were recovered. Given its success, the program can be viewed as a model to be followed by other countries that find themselves in a similar situation of crisis. How well the program adhered to its documented targeting design and how effective this design was in reaching the poor is also examined.
Asia and the Pacific