Book award for study of cash transfer programmes

  • March 13, 2019
Book award for study of cash transfer programmes

Tara Cookson has won a prestigious award for her book on the hidden costs of cash transfer programmes.

The book is an elegantly written and accessible portrait of how rural women in Peru experience and cope with the often hidden and detrimental socioeconomic demands of a much-heralded development programme.

American Association of Geographers

A Gates Cambridge Scholar has won a prestigious book award for her 'outstanding' book on cash transfer programmes.

Tara Cookson [2011] won the American Association of Geographers' Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography for her book Unjust Conditions: Women’s Work and the Hidden Cost of Cash Transfer Programs, published by the University of California Press.

The book, based on Tara's PhD in Geography at the University of Cambridge, follows poor mothers in rural Peru, documenting the ordeals they face to participate in Conditional Cash Transfer [CCT] programmes which are aimed at poverty alleviation. CCTs have been championed by behavioural economists and the World Bank and praised as efficient mechanisms for changing poor people's behaviour.

The book argues that, while these programmes are rooted in good intentions for social inclusion, the claim that they are efficient is based on a handful of narrow metrics that render significant gendered costs invisible.

The AAG award is given for a book written or co-authored by a geographer that conveys most powerfully the nature and importance of geography to the non-academic world.

The AAG describes Tara's book as "an elegantly written and accessible portrait of how rural women in Peru experience and cope with the often hidden and detrimental socioeconomic demands of a much-heralded development programme."

It praises Tara's careful, self-aware ethnographic methods and says the book "presents a powerful counter-argument to the fashionable yet problematic practice of “data-driven development” and that it "should be required reading for students, scholars, the general public, and – most importantly – practitioners of development searching for innovative and socially just alternatives to conventional development thinking".

The awardees will be formally recognised during the 2019 AAG Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. in April.

Tara is  Co-founder and Director of Ladysmith, a feminist research consultancy that helps international development organisations collect, analyse and take action on gender data.  She is also a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia.

*The book's Open Access version is available here. Picture credit of woman and baby in the hills above Lima: Ian Riley from Brentwood, TN, USA, courtesy of Creative Commons.

 

Tara Cookson

Tara Cookson

  • Alumni
  • Canada
  • 2011 PhD Geography
  • Wolfson College

Tara Patricia Cookson is a Canada Research Chair and Assistant Professor of Gender, Development and Global Public Policy at the University of British Columbia's School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, and the cofounder of Ladysmith, a feminist research consultancy that helps international organizations collect, analyze and take action on gender data. In her role at Ladysmith she has led evidence-driven projects for UN Women, UNICEF, the International Labour Organization, Global Affairs Canada, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and Facebook, among others. She is also author of the award winning book Unjust Conditions: Women's Work and the Hidden Cost of Cash Transfer Programs, based on the research she conducted while a Gates Cambridge Scholar and member of Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge (2011-2015).

Links

https://ladysmithcollective.com
https://sppga.ubc.ca/profile/tara-cookson
https://www.linkedin.com/in/taracookson

Latest News

Gates Cambridge at the Cambridge Festival

Gates Cambridge Scholars will be speaking at the Cambridge Festival next month on a range of topics, from climate change social entrepreneurs to local currencies and AI. The Cambridge Festival  runs from 13th to 28th March and is teeming with hundreds of events, most of them free, which celebrate the rich research being done at the […]

First cohort of 2024 Gates Cambridge Scholars announced

Twenty-six of the most academically outstanding and socially committed US citizens have been selected to be part of the 2024 class of Gates Cambridge Scholars at the University of Cambridge. The US Scholars-elect, who will take up their awards this October, are from a wide range of backgrounds. They come from 20 universities across the […]

What is education for?

Best-selling author Tara Westover [2009], researcher Aliya Khalid [2015] and Thabo Msibi [2009], Deputy Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at the University of KwaZulu-Natal are the guests in the second edition of the Gates Cambridge podcast – out today. So, now what? sees the three Gates Cambridge Scholars tackling the issue of what education […]

Why technology needs feminism

What is good technology? Is ‘good’ technology even possible? And how can feminism contribute towards it? Those questions and more are at the heart of a new book co-edited by Gates Cambridge Scholar Dr Kerry McInerney and based on the popular podcast series she co-hosts. The Good Robot: Why technology needs feminism gathers together the thoughts of leading […]