Marina Dodlova / Anna Giolbas / Jann Lay

Non-Contributory Social Transfer Programmes (NSTP) in Developing Countries Data Set

The NSTP data set provides a comprehensive overview of non-contributory social transfer programmes in developing countries. It covers 186 programmes in 101 countries up until 2015. Our data collection effort is based on the Social Assistance in Developing Countries Database Version 5.0 by Barrientos, Nino-Zarazua, and Maitrot (2010) but significantly extends their work in terms of the time period and the countries covered. In addition, we have screened the following sources: the Social Security Inquiry Database of the International Labour Organization, The Atlas of Social Protection – Indicators of Resilience and Equity (ASPIRE) of the World Bank, the Social Pensions Database of Pension Watch and the Non-contributory Social Protection Programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean Database of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL). These different data sources feed into our database, where they are complemented by further typically programme-specific sources such as programme evaluation reports and national social security boards.

Another contribution is that we present the data in user friendly formats for both quantitative and qualitative researchers. The text format consists of a list of countries included and descriptive programme profiles. The table format has been obtained by encoding all details and characteristics of the respective social transfer programmes in panel form and is accompanied by a codebook. Both EXCEL and STATA formats are available. All documents can be downloaded here. Furthermore, we provide additional information on the NSTP data set and on how it can be used to explore different issues related to social policies in developing countries in the following paper:

Dodlova, M., A. Giolbas, and J. Lay (2016). Non-Contributory Social Transfer Programmes in Developing Countries: A New Data Set and Research Agenda. Hamburg: GIGA Working Paper 290.

Please cite this paper when using the NSTP data. If you should encounter any problems with the data set or would like to provide feedback, please refer to the contact details above.


101 developing countries

  • Barrientos, A., M. Nino-Zarazua, and M. Maitrot (2010). Social Assistance in Developing Countries Database. MPRA Paper 26403. Online
  • ECLAC (2016). Non-contributory Social Protection Programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean Database. Online
  • International Labour Organization (2013). Social Security Inquiry Database. Online
  • Pension Watch (2015). Social Pensions Database. Online
  • World Bank (2014). ASPIRE: The Atlas of Social Protection – Indicators of Resilience and Equity. Online
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