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 10: Introduction to the Case Studies

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 This part of the book contains 15 social transfer case studies drawn from six countries of the southern African region in the period 2006–07. The six countries are Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and case studies were selected within and across them as the outcome of a stakeholder consultation that emphasized knowledge gaps and scope for lesson learning. The list of case studies including their countries, titles and acronyms appears in Table 10.1. The chosen case studies provide a varied representation of social protection practice in southern Africa. Some are small scale and of limited duration, while others have national coverage and are permanently in place, secured by legislation and provided as a right to their recipients. Small scale projects are often innovative, and some were designed as pilots or experiments in cash transfers to vulnerable beneficiaries, with a view to their potential for scaling up in the future. The authors are aware that case studies from southern Africa can hardly be regarded as representative of social protection in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. It is for this reason that important examples from other subSaharan African countries are provided in the preceding chapters. Yet there are various reasons why these case studies can nevertheless offer lessons that are widely applicable across the continent. One reason is that this region more than any other experienced a prolonged era of periodic hunger crises between 2001 and 2006. This catapulted the region into the forefront of new...

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