Social accountability in the delivery of social protection: Exploration of approaches and principles

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

Managing Disaster Differently: Shock-Sensitive Social Protection in Malawi

Trials of CIAT-improved "magic beans" in Malawi, which have performed well despite the the worst drought in three decades. CGIAR, 2016
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

This is a three-part webinar series focused on social accountability in the delivery of social protection. 'Social accountability' is a citizen-centered approach to accountability in government services and schemes.

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From manual to digital: First hand insight into Malawi’s Social Cash Transfer

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

Social accountability in social protection: Unpacking the concept

On 18th January 2018, HelpAge International and the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth co-hosted the first in a three part webinar series focused on the role of social accountability in social protection . This was the first time that experts and practitioners from across the globe had been brought together to discuss this important topic. Social accountability is an approach to building accountability in which citizens are the key actors . More specifically, it refers to ‘ the extent and capacity of citizens to hold the state and service providers accountable and make them responsive to the needs of citizens and beneficiaries’ . Social accountability is important for social protection for at least three reasons: It helps ...Read more

Conditional or unconditional cash transfers? From ideology to policy dialogue

Building resilience against hunger and malnutrition in Burkina Faso, the European Commission's humanitarian aid department (ECHO) funds the NGO ACF to provide health and nutrition care as well as food assistance including cash transfers for the poorest families. Photo credit: EC/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie
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?

Refugee camp, Rwanda (2006) Photo credit: Elisa Finocchiaro, Flickr
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

This is a three-part webinar series focused on social accountability in the delivery of social protection. 'Social accountability' is a citizen-centred approach to accountability in government services and schemes. It plays an important role in reducing error, fraud and corruption; ensuring that cash is delivered to recipients regularly, reliably and accessible; improving policy design, and strengthening state-society relations.

English

Lesotho’s Child Grants Programme: From donor pilot to government programme

Ten years ago, Lesotho started thinking about a child grant. While initially designed and funded with support of the European Union (EU) and UNICEF, today, it is a nationally owned and funded programme . This blog examines the strategies that facilitated this transition . Following the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS crisis, cash transfers have spread rapidly throughout sub-Saharan Africa. One of the big questions, however, is how to turn these pilots, which were often initially funded by donors, into sustainable government programmes. Lesotho’s Child Grants Programme (CGP) is no exception to this. In this blog, I explore how the programme went from a donor-driven pilot to a government-funded programme. This transition, I believe, is highly...Read more

Cash transfers and climate change resilience in Africa

The African Development Bank is working with the Climate Investment Funds' Pilot Program for Climate Resilience in southern Mozambique (2014). Photo credit: CIF Action, Flickr
Social protection, particularly in the form of cash transfer programmes, are being implemented to mitigate poverty in Africa. Cash transfer programming involves providing cash or vouchers to beneficiaries instead of in-kind aid, such as clothes or food (CARE Programmes, 2017). Evidence shows that most cash transfer programmes have positive impacts on their beneficiaries (Asfaw et al., 2014; Daidone et al., 2015). While cash transfer programmes are designed to protect the effect of poverty on the poor, there is growing evidence that cash transfers can help in building resilience to climate change. This is achieved by increasing human capital, facilitating changes in economic activities by decreasing liquidity constraints, improving natural resource management, and building local economics...Read more