“This is our right”: Social protection and fairness in Timor-Leste

Social protection has been an important tool in shaping relations between citizens and the state and contributing to social peace and economic development since Timor-Leste became a sovereign state in 2002. This paper draws on mixed-methods data to consider how people perceive fairness and deservingness in relation to social protection, and how that shapes prospects for social protection in a context where veteran support is politically charged. it examines the three main social assistance schemes that have been in place since 2008: cash payments to veterans; Support Allowance for the Elderly and People with Disabilities; and Bolsa da Mae (mother’s purse) for children in vulnerable households