Social Protection and Social Services in the SADC region: Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030

Social services are a range of public services provided by state and non-state actors that aim to build stronger economies, promote equality and create effective organisations. Their range could differ from country to country within the SADC community. This year’s conference is particularly interested in exploring the social services practised in different SADC countries and how these social services are intrinsically linked to social protection. It is on this basis that the theme of the conference is Social protection and social services in the SADC region: Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030.

The 2021 International Annual SASPEN conference outcomes shall include:

  • Strengthening of the knowledge base and design of social protection interventions and programmes via the provision of social services.
  • Enhanced understanding and cooperation on social protection for comprehensive social and economic development in relation to the sustainable development agenda, and with specific reference to the social protection – social services nexus.
  • Sharing of national and international social protection, related policy, legal, institutional and operational frameworks, in particular from a social services perspective.

The conference organising committee (CoC) welcomes abstracts that reflect on this overall theme, specifically any of the following themes:

The state of social services as social protection in the SADC and the readiness of countries to meet social protection targets through the provision of social services as spelt out in the African Union Agenda 2063 (and now specified in the AU Social Agenda 2063) and Agenda 2030. In this sub-section, the CoC would welcome abstracts that show conceptual and grounded realities on where countries are, and where they need to be, in terms of an integrated or complementary approach to the provision of social protection in the form of social services by both state and nonstate actors.

(Un)conditional cash transfers and access to social services. Here, the CoC would welcome abstracts devoted to the study of cash transfers that are designed to improve access to social services as part of their objectives. For instance, some cash transfers are designed to assist children to go to school and to access health facilities, whereas others are designed to help farmers to access agricultural inputs.

Universal access to health coverage is still lacking in most countries in the SADC region because of the unavailability of health services in some poor communities. At the same time, the availability of health services does not equate to affordability and effective access. How social protection is helping to bridge this gap in different SADC countries will be of particular interest.

Youth and employment services are becoming critical because the youth (and the active populations) who are not in employment also do not receive any form of social protection. The youth in Africa presents a myriad of concerns and these include potential for civil conflicts resulting from youth unemployment, poverty, health concerns and lack of education opportunities. Abstracts discussing this aspect and how countries are using social protection to assist the youth to participate in labour markets will be welcome.

Inclusion and Access to social services by women and other marginalised groups such as migrants and displaced persons as well as by persons with disabilities, populations in conflictaffected areas, and persons in need of responding to events such as climate change, constitute other dimensions that will be considered in this year’s conference.

Legal, financial and institutional frameworks for social protection and social services in the SADC are also of interest. In this sub-theme, the CoC welcomes submissions that discuss the relevant legal, financial and institutional frameworks that inform the provision of social protection and social services by both state and non-state actors in SADC countries. Recently, the AU Ministerial Specialised Technical Committee (STC) on Social Development, Labour and Employment adopted Social Agenda 2063, which builds on Agenda 2063. What does this mean for the legal, financial and institutional frameworks impacting on social protection and social services in African countries, in particular countries in the SADC region?

Call for Abstract Submissions

Abstracts submitted should be limited to 300 words and include a clear indication of the objective(s) of the paper, research question, methodology, and findings and conclusions (including the 4 contribution to the field of social protection).

Submissions must be made no later than 16 November 2020 to: [email protected]