Safety nets in Ethiopia are targeted and delivered in a context in which informal social capital practices also operate. But the role of social relations is largely overlooked in welfare programming. Understanding how social capital is mobilized and under which condition it enhances or constrains social safety net targeting may inform policy to design sustainable and inclusive welfare programs to improve household resilience. Using an ethnographic case study design, we studied the role of social capital in the implementation of a welfare intervention. Data were collected through observations and interviews with 30 households. Besides, data on household social network characteristics were collected using semi-structured interviews. The result suggested that greater access to social capital by a household enhances the efficiency of safety net targeting and delivery. Positioning the social transfer instruments within the broader sets of community social arrangements can optimize the allocation of scarce safety net resources and improves community relationships.
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