Social Protection in Africa
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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.
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Chapter 5: Coordination and Coverage

Frank Ellis, Stephen Devereux and Phillip White


OVERVIEW Efforts are being made in many African countries to establish improved coordinating mechanisms for social protection. Coordination is about the way that different bodies involved in social protection, within institutions and across institutions, interact with each other to share information, determine roles and competencies, avoid duplication of effort and establish funding priorities. Coordination can have a significant bearing on the adequacy of coverage of different vulnerable groups achieved by social protection. In its absence, coverage is likely to be accidental and patchy, driven more by the diverse interests of NGOs or the unreliable enthusiasms of donors than by a considered oversight of the social and geographical distribution of those most in need in a country. Coordination is a complicated aspect of social protection because it is needed at many different organizational levels and also requires an understanding of history and politics to explain the forms it takes in different countries at different times. In terms of organizational levels, coordination can occur at levels from an overall overseeing capability in central government down to the practical coordination between partner organizations required to deliver a particular type of social transfer to a defined group of beneficiaries. In between these there are many intermediate levels of coordination that may involve collaboration and information sharing between some institutions but not others. One kind of intermediate level coordination that is prevalent in the region is a national committee or programme centred around a particular...

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