Portability of social protection facilitates the movement of people. It is usually considered from a geographical perspective and refers to the ability to have coverage when abroad. This chapter proposes that we extend the concept to portability across institutions, within the country. A definite advantage is that it allows for life-course social protection: given that we will be navigating through a series of phases and transitions, often involving support from different branches of social protection, it only makes sense to make those connections. Perhaps even more importantly, by enabling portability across institutions, we strengthen the fabric of social protection in the country, so that it is better able to deal with the next crisis. That way, social protection can fulfil its role not only in the delivery of existing programmes but as a critical tool in governments’ arsenal to provide relief in times of crisis.
Many aspects of social protection need to be decentralized to make services accessible and responsive to users. Applying the well-established distinction between deconcentration, delegation and devolution enables the implications for social protection systems of each approach to decentralisation to be examined. Public sector reforms in many countries have favoured the delegation of authority to local managers, or the delegation of responsibility for service delivery to semi-autonomous agencies or local government, while devolution of functions to sub-national governments represents a more radical and in principle irreversible transfer of responsibility. However, it is important to recognise that decision-makers do not face an unfettered choice between centralization and any of these modes of decentralization. Factors derived from the nature of the services concerned, the wider institutional landscape of public service delivery and reform, and political pressures for greater local autonomy will all play a part in determining the approach that is adopted.
Benson Chisanga and Jairous J. Miti
The Government of the Republic of Zambia formulated the National Social Protection Policy in 2014, to guide the provision of effective social protection services to reduce poverty, inequality, and vulnerability in Zambia. However, the design and implementation of effective services require availability of adequate national technical capacity developed through systematic training. This paper reports on the processes of designing pre-service social protection training curricula at undergraduate and graduate levels coordinated by the University of Zambia. The curricula design was a collaborative effort of state and non-state actors in Zambia with technical support of reputable international social protection training institutions and experts. Sustaining collaboration and reaching consensus on curricula structures and contents were major challenges. For countries like Zambia capacity development for social protection through pre-service training needs to be supplemented by external peer-to-peer learning exchange to enhance local curricula design capacity and ensure curricula structures and contents reflect best practices.
Whilst social protection policy has long been shaped and sometimes driven by international or transnational actors, in the 2000s these actors assumed new importance. Inter-governmental agencies, government aid agencies and international non-government organisations promote strongly the expansion of social protection in low- as well as middle-income countries. National governments have often been reluctant or unable to operate and (especially) to finance social protection programmes. International organisations have stepped in to introduce or operate programmes themselves, whilst lobbying for national governments to take these over. Whilst sharing an enthusiasm for social protection, international organisations differ in their preferred models, their objectives and their underlying norms and values. The politics of social protection reform thus entails competition as well as cooperation between international organisations, and complex negotiations between them and national governments.
Research on people’s policy preferences concerning social protection examines the micro-foundations of individuals’ demand for redistributive policy measures or specific social protection measures and seeks to understand he underlying driving factors. As people’s preferences reflect the acceptability of redistributive policies within societies, the distribution of preferences within a population is considered relevant in influencing the feasibility of social protection policies by shaping public support (or public opposition). This chapter summarizes available research. It distinguishes between three different types of approaches: approaches assuming self-interested preferences, discussing in particular the role of income, risk aversion and social mobility; approaches examining other-regarding preferences, addressing the role of values and social norms; and approaches considering the role of information. In addition, this contribution reflects on methodological challenges in measuring preferences focusing on the validity of approaches used for measuring preferences and problems of endogeneity when addressing the causal link between preferences for redistribution and redistributive outcomes.
Miguel Niño-Zarazúa and Alma Santillán Hernández
Since the turn of the Century, social protection has expanded rapidly across the Global South. The pace by which these programmes have expanded, and the type of programmes that have been adopted, vary substantially across countries. This article has two objectives: first, it provides an overview of the political economy literature of social protection adoption, focusing on the factors that the literature highlights as underpinning the adoption of social protection programmes in MICs and LICs. Second, we empirically examine these underlying determinants. Overall, we find evidence indicating that past democratization has had a positive effect on the current expansion social transfers. Electoral democracies seem to have favoured the expansion of CCTs and social pensions, whereas autocracies and infant electoral democracies have favoured pure cash transfers and public works, which are, on average, smaller in scale and are more prone to political clientelism. The level of economic development, demographic characteristics and state capabilities also matter for the adoption and scalability of social transfers.
The case study describes the implementation of Kenya’s cash transfer programme for orphans and vulnerable children (CT-OVC) in three counties that evolve between ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ institutions and processes. Although traditional authorities are excluded from formal delivery processes, chiefs, sub-chiefs and community elders are routinely at the centre stage of core implementation processes at local level, including targeting, enrolment, delivery, monitoring, awareness and information, data collection and grievance and redress. These hybrid delivery structures are not always dysfunctional to effective delivery, but have important complementing and substituting functions, supporting local civil servants in the day-to-day delivery of the programme.
Despite the recent hype around basic income grant (BIG), Iran provides the only example of a nationally scaled-up BIG. Following on the adapted political settlement framework, this case study analysed the political economy dynamics that influenced the policy non-take-up of the BIG in South Africa. The analysis focused on how and why the BIG was proposed and opposed by the political settlement (policy coalitions), while also highlighting the broader paradigmatic ideas and the distribution regime that were central concerning the development of social security in South Africa. A shift towards a BIG would require larger support from the influential African National Congress (ANC) constituencies and individuals. The persisting levels of poverty, inequality and unemployment will continue raise pertinent questions for the political settlement, especially regarding the extension (permanent) of the means-tested and pro-poor social assistance programme to those aged between 18-59, who are not covered by any social protection schemes.
Social protection systems have undergone major changes throughout the past decade: on the one hand, the global financial crisis of 2008 brought about austerity measures and reductions of social programs; on the other hand, universal social protection coverage has secured a prominent place on the development agenda of both national governments and the international community. Even the best intended social protection reforms can produce both winners and losers. Acceptable, sustainable and equity-enhancing reforms therefore strike a balance between gains and losses. Social protection reforms that generate losers can be accompanied by compensation measures. These measures can reduce unintended negative consequences of reform (for example increases in poverty) and increase its success and sustainability