Social protection programmes are among the most successful development experiences the world has seen in recent years. They have proven to be key in developing countries’ efforts to fight poverty and hunger, as demonstrated by the substantial progress countries such as Brazil, Ethiopia and Senegal have made in poverty reduction through the adoption and expansion of social protection schemes. These and other examples clearly show that social protection has the potential to contribute significantly to long-term sustainable development, especially when built under a broader, more integrated framework.
The International Seminar on Social Protection in Africa held in April 2015 in Dakar, Senegal created an important space for sharing such experiences and for promoting a social protection agenda as a key building block for human development. Participants engaged in productive debates on how to expand the scope of practices in this area in order to target the multiple causes of poverty and inequality. Building on the results and inputs for this seminar, this report presents an overview of the institutional background and governance structures of existing social protection schemes, the key actors involved, the main challenges faced and the most important results obtained to date. It aims to provide policymakers with much needed information on programmes being developed in Brazil and in Africa and their related design and implementation processes. The report calls for the expansion of the traditional social protection agenda to embrace a larger scope of action - one that promotes long-term and sustainable change, is multidimensional and delivers positive results across all three pillars of sustainable development.