The purpose of this study is to find out how the new cash transfer program, Takaful and Karama, implemented by the Egyptian government is affecting the relationship between the Egyptian state and its citizens. This is done through depicting the accounts of the two main actors in this relation: the state and its citizens. In the quest for achieving the objective of this study, a qualitative approach is being applied through using content analysis to depict the account of the state and semi-structured interviews to depict the accounts of the beneficiaries of and the applicants to the program. The study first puts this new cash transfer program in a broader context through examining its relation to the current economic, social and political-economic scene in Egypt. In a second step, the study finds how the beneficiaries of and applicants to the program interact with the state and how they perceive some aspects of the program such as conditionality and means-testing. In a final and third step, the study finds the effect of this new cash transfer program on the relationship between community and family members. Three main findings are derived from this study. The first finding is that the social policy in Egypt is ending more and more to be a liberal residual policy that is consisted of a number of palliative measures which are constituting what is called a social safety net. The aim of this net is to offset the effects of the economic reform policies on those who are conceived to be the deserving destitute. The rest of the population are asked to provide for themselves in the market. Cash transfers are being used as if they are the magic bullet for development and complementary policies are being missed. Macroeconomic stability is becoming the overriding goal to which all other goals, job creation and income protection, are subordinated. The second finding is that while people do not consider means-testing and conditionality as intrusive they tend to have their own ways to deal with means-testing and targeting. Personal discretion and human intervention will always be there and technology cannot be the cure for such defects especially in a context where informality is the norm. The third finding is that targeting is creating a state of competition and envy among community and family members. People tend to compete over the scarce resource and power relations will continue to play a role in such context.


Public Policy & Administration Department

Degree Name

MA in Public Policy

Graduation Date


Submission Date

January 2018

First Advisor

El Baradei, Laila

Committee Member 1

Sholkamy, Hania

Committee Member 2

Adly, Amr


80 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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