Social protection system as a way out of poverty

When: Friday March 11th, 2016
Time: 09.00 – 11:40 (Registration and coffee from 08.30) 
Venue: Sida, Valhallavägen 199, Stockholm (Oasen)

Experience, impact and ways ahead for Swedish engagement

Cash transfers – cash in hand – to poor households have become an increasingly popular component of social protection strategies across the developing world. Consequently Swedish support to social protection systems is increasing, not least in Sub-Saharan Africa. Still, knowledge of the benefits is limited, and there is no systematic way in how Sweden through Sida supports these initiatives. 

There are many positive effects of cash transfers to poor and vulnerable households. They get a safer and more predictable economy, children and young people improve their health and education and the local economy is strengthened. As the payments are often directed to women their economic empowerment is strengthened. But setting up and maintaining fair systems is complex and expensive, and there are also different opinions on how to go about designing the systems for best effects.  

This Development Talks focuses on the benefits of social protection systems, on program design choices and their potential effects on the outcomes of the programs. It includes key findings from recent research as well as experience and lessons learned from national programs in Sub-Saharan Africa. We’ll also discuss possible advancement of the Swedish social protection agenda within development cooperation in the light of the Global goals for sustainable development.


Moderator: Susanna Wasielewski Ahlfors, Sida


08:30 Registration and coffee

09:00 Welcome and introductory remarks
Torbjörn Pettersson, Assistant Director General, Sida

09:10 Kenya’s social protection system
A presentation of the social protection system in Kenya, its design,  achievements and lessons learned for future development of Kenyan safety nets. 
Ms. Winnie Mwasiaji, national coordinator, Ministry of Labour, Kenya

09:40 Social protection in Africa – ongoing cash transfer programs and their impact  
An overview of social protection systems in Sub-Saharan Africa and their key components. Results from recent research on positive and negative effects from social protection programs and cash transfers, including questions from audience.
Dr. Sudhanshu Handa, UNICEF Office of Research 

10:15 Coffee and sandwich

10:30 Film

10:40 Panel discussion:  Sweden’s engagement in social protection – where do we go next? 
Sudhanshu Handa, PhD, UNICEF Office of Research 
Torsten Wetterblad, Project leader Social Protection, Sida 

Anna Hammargren, Head of Department for Aid management, Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Gunnel Nycander, Policy Director, Church of Sweden’s international work

11:30 Ways forward for Sida
Annika Sundén, Chief Economist, Sida