This paper reports on the findings of the evaluation and monitoring strategy that focused on policy reforms for Domestic Purposes Benefit (DPB) and Widows Benefit (WB) recipients, effective from 1 February 1999. Increased participation in employment was the primary means by which the reform objectives were to be achieved.
The reforms involved changes to reciprocal obligations, facilitative assistance, abatement rules, financial incentives and childcare subsidies. The reforms had the following objectives:
- increase beneficiary participation in the labour market (aiming for sustained employment and increased income)
- reduce long-term benefit receipt
- reduce the number of children raised in long-term benefit dependent families
- reduce fiscal costs over time.
The evaluation and monitoring strategy, as requested by Government, was established at the end of 1998 to evaluate the effect of the reforms on sole parents and their families. Information collected from a number of inter-related projects in the strategy has been used to assess the impact of the policy reforms and to improve policy and delivery over time. The Department of Labour (DOL) and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) were jointly responsible for the evaluation and monitoring strategy.