Social and financial risk protection for poor and vulnerable populations is a major development and policy issue across the globe. There are numerous definitions of social protection. In the context of health, social protection is defined as programmes and measures aimed at removing financial barriers preventing access to health care services and protecting poor and vulnerable populations from the impoverishing effects of medical expenditures. Financial risk protection is a key component of universal health coverage (UHC) and the health system goal of ensuring access to quality health care services without suffering financial hardship. Social and financial risk protection can be provided through programmes and measures that are rooted in legislation. Lack of social and financial...Read more
On 1 March 2018, HelpAge International and the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth organised the second in a three part webinar series focused on the role of social accountability in the delivery of social protection. The recording is available here and the presentation here . The event explored approaches to social accountability through two case studies. The first was the Zanzibar Universal Pension Scheme (ZUPS), a non-contributory social pension available to all older Zanzibaris aged 70 years and above (approximately 25,000 older people). Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania with a population of almost 1 million. The second case study was the Social Protection and Poverty Reduction programme in Indonesia, which has a number of integrated social protection...Read more
The webinar, titled Managing Disaster Differently: Shock-Sensitive Social Protection in Malawi, took place on the 15 February, 2018. It highlighted Malawi’s heightened vulnerability to seasonal and unpredictable climate-related shocks, which exacerbate its already high levels of poverty and food and nutrition insecurity. The webinar drew on information compiled in a recent report, Towards Shock-Sensitive Social Protection System in Malawi , undertaken by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre (RCRCCC), and commissioned by the Government of Malawi (GoM) with financial support from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and through the German contribution to the European Union (EU) Social Protection System...Read more
The webinar titled, Why is social protection vital to ensure that no person with a disability is left behind?, took place on 25 January 2018, addressing themes surrounding labour market programmes, productive inclusion, social protection systems, and targeting. It provided evidence from countries including Vietnam, Malawi, Nepal and South Africa. The webinar was hosted by socialprotection.org and organised by Development Pathways . It counted with presentations by Stephen Kidd , (Senior Social Policy Specialist, Development Pathways) and Morgan Banks (Research Fellow, the International Centre for Evidence in Disability, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine). Alexandra Barrantes (Senior Social Policy Specialist at Development Pathways) served as...Read more
How cash transfers are delivered to beneficiaries involves important policy and practical considerations. This blog presents first-hand experience of the manual distribution of Malawi’s Social Cash Transfer Programme (locally known as the Mtukula Pakhomo ). Recognising the practical demands on government staff capacity explains the move towards experimenting with alternative transfer modalities: namely e-payments. However, this approach also involves pros and cons. In previous blogs , I explored how implementing cash transfers is a demanding task. This time, I will briefly describe the manual cash transfer process in Malawi, from the perspective of an observer, to provide brief insight into the extent of the task many African government’s grapple with. I then...Read more
Should cash transfers be conditional or unconditional? Putting ideological views about the approach aside, policy outcomes are most often a reflection of practical limitations and political considerations. This can be said to account for the emergence of ‘soft conditions’, involving community enforcement. Conditionality Roughly speaking, social protection cash transfers can be categorised as either conditional or unconditional: Conditional cash transfers require beneficiaries to comply with specific conditions to be eligible for the transfer. These are often related to school attendance or health care. Unconditional cash transfers do not require any specific actions to be undertaken by targeted beneficiaries. The decision about whether a new programme...Read more
What role can social protection play in responding to humanitarian emergencies? The webinar, titled What role can social protection play in responding to humanitarian emergencies , presented the findings concerning social protection systems and crisis management in Pakistan, Mozambique, Mali, the Sahel, Philippines and Lesotho. The event took place on the 11 January 2018, and focused on themes surrounding shock responsive systems and social assistance. The webinar was hosted by socialprotection.org and organised by Oxford Policy Management (OPM), in collaboration with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the Cash Learning Partnership (CALp) and the National Institute of Psychical Health (INASP). The webinar was moderated by Sarah Bailey (Research...Read more
The Lake Chad Basin (LCB) is among the world’s biggest, located in the Sahel region of Africa (Abubakar, n.d.). It also has one of the largest sedimentary closed groundwater basins in the whole of the African continent. With its vast pasture of cultivable land and wealthy fish stocks, it is an essential area both economically and environmentally to the riparian states of Chad, Cameroon, Libya, Nigeria and Niger (GIZ, 2015b). Photo: UN Security Council United Kingdom Field Mission to the Lake Chad Basin . Photo credit: Lorey Campese, 2014, Flickr. Approximately 38 million people from diverse ethnic cultures presently live in the LCB (GIZ, 2015b). The majority of these people are from poor rural households and survive on subsistence farming (GIZ, 2015b). Recent occurrences, due to...Read more
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