Comprehensive social policies with Whole-of-Government approach - Lessons learned and guidance to development partners from the Case of Namibia

Poverty is multidimensional. It cannot be eradicated by providing last resort ‘safety nets’ to the poorest. It cannot be eradicated by social sector instruments alone. Root causes of poverty are structural and therefore war on poverty calls for comprehensive policies with social values at the core in all sectors.  Namibia is a good example of such a comprehensive, Whole-of-Government approach. 

The recommendations of the EU-SPS Programme, concernign social protection development cooperation, are as follows:

  1. Ensure high level political commitment. Development of a social protection system is a strategic and crucial development issue with high political interests.  
  2. Facilitate the establishment of a multi-stakeholder platform to gather together all interested stakeholders. In Namibia the inter-ministerial SP Core Team created a process to run the process forward across government sectors. 
  3. Align with government strategies. This secures Government ownership and helps avoid “donor push” elements in the cooperation.
  4. Harmonize donor support through joint programming and pooling of resources. Establish a commitment for joint programming among the donors. Involve high level managers to ensure that joint programming is fully authorized and budgeted for. 
  5. Establish a single channel communication for the partner Government. 
  6. Ensure the main local partner has the resources required to deliver its part. This can be done e.g. by funding expert posts locally. Over time this strengthens the partner’s capacity too. 
  7. Ensure the involvement and visibility of the European Union Delegation (EUD) in order to make clear the high level political interest of EU in the cooperation.
  8. Use primarily local expertise. This strengthens local capacities and promotes the sustainability of SP collaboration between local experts and other stakeholders. p
  9. Arrange for speedy payments to local suppliers. as Often they are small,have little cash reserves and cannot wait for payments for long.
  10. Budget for and appoint a resident coordinating agency or expert person. This can be either either at country or regional level. 
  11. The European Union should continue supporting Social Development, Social Policies and Social Protection systems in African countries. These are necessary building blocks for the materialization of human rights, for peace and broad-based security and socially sustainable development in the neighboring region.
  12. The EU should partner with and provide support to the African Union in building coherence and sustainability of social protection systems. This would encompass continental dialogues and guidance.