This panel was compiled by the Conference Program Team from independently submitted paper proposals
This paper is an attempt to assess the impact of NGOs on the consumption patterns of poor households in Iran, based on the gender of the recipient of the support. There is a vast literature on the differences in the expenditure patterns of women vs. men, suggesting that the household funds controlled by women, compared to the funds controlled by men, are typically spent more on the family’s nutrition, health, and human capital (Thomas 1993; Lundberg, Pollak, and Wales 1997; Haddad, Hoddinot, and Alderman 1997; Duflo 2012; Bobonis 2009). We propose to examine the significance and nature of this effect among the recipients of NGO support in Iran. To achieve this goal, we plan to select a group of about 20 NGOs offering social protection (SP) services in Iran and seek their cooperation in carrying out household income and expenditure surveys of samples of their support recipients. The surveys will rely on an extended version of the recent Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) questionnaires used by the Statistical Center of Iran and samples will be selected to ensure they include women and men, both as heads and non-heads of households. Half of the NGOs will be selected among those that target women and the other half will be those whose agendas are not gender specific. We then examine the types of beneficiaries being served by the two NGO categories and compare the expenditure patterns of their households with each other and with those obtained for similar groups by the HIES results. The project is expected to shed light on whether the households that receive support from NGOs are indeed potentially among the poorest, how their expenditure patterns vary from the non-recipients, and whether the gender of the recipient and her/his status as head of household matters in the way NGO support affects household expenditures.