Summary: This report is organized in five chapters: chapter one, a framework for Social Safety Nets (SSN) reform in the Middle East and North Africa, describes and illustrates the reasons for the region's growing need for SSN reform and establishes the framework for renewed SSNs. Chapter two, the challenge: poverty, exclusion and vulnerability to shocks, analyzes the challenges facing the region's poor and vulnerable households, which SSNs should focus on as a priority. Chapter three, the current state of SSNs in the Middle East and North Africa, analyzes SSN spending and assesses different aspects of the SSN systems' performance (including coverage, targeting, generosity, and the impact on poverty and inequality of both subsidy and non-subsidy SSNs). It benchmarks such performance against that of other regions and countries and identifies the gaps in existing systems. Chapter four, the political economy of SSN reforms in the Middle East and North Africa: what do citizens want? Presents new evidence on citizens preferences concerning redistribution and SSN design, using newly collected data (MENA SPEAKS surveys and the Jordan Gives behavioral experiment). It also discusses how political economy considerations could be taken into account in designing renewed SSNs in the region. Finally, chapter five, the way forward: how to make safety nets in the Middle East and North Africa more effective and innovative analyzes and proposes an agenda for reform and the path for moving forward, using global experience and the evidence presented in the preceding chapters.
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