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 24: Case Study 14. Chief’s Fields for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Swaziland

Frank Ellis, Stephen Devereux and Phillip White


Case Study 14. Chiefs’ Fields for orphans and vulnerable children, Swaziland OVERVIEW The CFs originated in 2004 as an initiative of the Swaziland National Emergency Response Council on HIV and AIDS (NERCHA). The initiative is called indlunkhulu in Swazi, meaning ‘the big house’ (a reference to the traditional socially inclusive responsibilities of local chiefs towards their subjects). The initiative sought to revive an ancient tradition by which local chiefs set aside fields to provide for destitute members of their communities, or those unable because of illness, accident or old age to cultivate fields for themselves. In the context of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), the intention was to find a long term solution to their food security, since there had hitherto been a heavy reliance on feeding programmes involving external agencies like WFP to provide this. The CFs initiative is overseen by NERCHA. At the local level decisions are made by an indlunkhulu committee, established in each participating community, and comprising representatives of community institutions, chiefdom officials and local civil servants. NERCHA partnered with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC) to act as the implementing agency providing tractor services, and procuring seeds and fertilizers from private sector suppliers and delivering these to project sites. The indlunkhulu committee allocates the inputs between beneficiaries. MOAC also trains beneficiaries in grain store construction to minimize post-harvest losses to rodents and pests. Chiefs’ Fields consist of a single 3-hectare community farm, made available in each of Swaziland’s 360 chiefdoms. In...

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