Social Protection in Africa

Social Protection in Africa

Frank Ellis, Stephen Devereux and Phillip White

The purpose of this book is to make accessible to a broad audience the ideas, principles and practicalities of establishing effective social protection in Africa. It focuses on the major shift in strategy for tackling hunger and vulnerability, from emergency responses mainly in the form of food transfers to predictable cash transfers to the chronically poorest social groups. The diverse case studies in this book provide a unique and timely exploration of the effective, and less effective, ways that social transfers are delivered to the chronically poor and vulnerable in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Chapter 4: Delivery

Frank Ellis, Stephen Devereux and Phillip White

Subjects: development studies, development studies, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, economics of social policy, social policy in emerging countries


INTRODUCTION The purpose of this chapter is to explore different delivery methods deployed by social transfer schemes in Africa. Delivery of social transfers has several interesting dimensions for lesson learning about good practice. First, there is the form of the transfer that is delivered to beneficiaries, and here, as already discussed in Chapter 1, the four main categories of cash, food, inputs and assets are between them more or less exhaustive of the main forms that delivery can take, even though many variants of delivery approach can be found within each category (vouchers, coupons and so on). Second, the technology of the delivery can vary, with electronic technologies offering the scope for entirely new ways of effecting social transfers, especially for cash transfers. Third, the organization and logistics of social transfers can vary considerably in terms of the institutions and channels that are used. Fourth, and closely related to the preceding dimension, the scale of the delivery task varies very considerably between national programmes and sub-national or local projects and schemes. Fifth, there are potentially significant issues around the incentives and motivation of the personnel involved in delivering social transfers, especially when those personnel do not see themselves as all that much better off than the recipients of the transfers. The effective delivery of social transfers overlaps with other themes explored in this book, particularly targeting, coordination and coverage and cost-effectiveness. This chapter focuses specifically on the delivery angle, but connections to...

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