Harnessing Human Capital through Universal Social Protection in Kenya

In the midst of any shock such as pandemic, epidemic or natural disasters, social protection play a vital role in minimizing the negative ripple effects. Universal social protection minimizes negative coping strategies that can deter growth and workers’ productivity in the long run. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the labour market, hence the need to explore how universal social protection system can be utilized in harness human capital, to help build back a productive workforce. The study sought to analyse how to harness human capital through universal social protection in Kenya. The study found that universal social protection programs should be categorized at national level gender responsive, inclusive and sustainable. A more appropriate lifecycle approach should be adopted as well. The study recommends adoption of a hybrid/integrated approaches to enhance universal social protection floors that work best during crisis and beyond. The policy interventions should include: national social protection floors such as national fund; and country level enhanced and universal health care.