Citizen Empowerment and Social Pensions in Delhi
Ensuring the well-being of particularly vulnerable groups in society remains an important priority and challenge for all governments, especially in developing countries. Oftentimes, even when welfare schemes are available, they are not taken up by those who could benefit from them most. In India, widows and abandoned women living in poverty are a particularly disadvantaged group. While there are national and state-level noncontributory pension schemes to assist these women, evidence suggests that the majority of eligible women do not obtain their pension entitlements. I propose to do research in the Indian state of Delhi to understand barriers citizens face in accessing social pensions and to evaluate the welfare impact these pensions have once obtained. This research can contribute to broader academic discourse regarding public service delivery, female empowerment, and the effectiveness of unconditional cash transfers to improve well-being.