Social Protection Policy and Practice in Bolivia: Its Implications for Bolivia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP)

Recent recognition both by governments and by development agencies that security is key to poverty reduction has resulted in an expanded and redefined conception of social protection, as acknowledged in the recent World Development Report (World Bank 2001a). This reformulation of social protection is new not only for the World Bank but also for institutions in Bolivia such as the government, civil society and the donor community.

Within this context, the objective of this paper is to document the nature and scope of social protection policy and practice in Bolivia, utilising the World Bank’s social protection framework. In addition it assesses the inclusion of social protection in the government’s recently completed Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). This highlights limitations in the existing framework and provides the opportunity for recommendations relevant to its further elaboration in Bolivia. At the outset it is important to emphasise that this is a preliminary review of a very complex subject, which merits considerable further attention.