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 9: Lesson Learning: Strengths, Weaknesses and the State of the Art

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


GOOD PRACTICE PRINCIPLES IN SOCIAL PROTECTION The purpose of this chapter is to pull together the strengths, weaknesses and lessons for future social protection practice in Africa that arise from the themes and examples of the preceding chapters as well as the 15 case studies contained in Part II of the book. Individual social transfer projects or programmes are typically formulated with clear intentions regarding the forms of deprivation they seek to address, as well as building what are understood to be good practices into scheme implementation. Since knowledge about best practice is widely disseminated through the donor and NGO community, as well as in government agencies, the implementation of social protection is in general on an improving trajectory throughout sub-Saharan Africa. From the materials and case studies researched for this book, it is possible to discern a set of principles that add up to desirable attributes for social protection efforts overall. Of course, individual social transfer schemes do not always comply with all such attributes, but most case studies can be seen to attempt to comply with a majority of them. These cross-cutting desirable attributes can be codified as a set of Good Practice Principles that social protection practice in Africa should aim towards: 1. to protect recipients from hunger now, or in the future, while not enfeebling their capabilities to engage in productive livelihoods, nor relegating them socially to ‘victim’ status; 2. to increase empowerment through enabling individual or collective choice, whenever it is feasible to...

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