The political economy of social protection in Africa: From global trends to policymaking in Ethiopia and Uganda

Recent years have seen growing interest in social protection as a means of reducing poverty and promoting development among international organisations, donor agencies and many developing countries. Yet there is huge variation in the experiences of African countries, with some governments moving rapidly ahead to adopt and implement social protection programmes, while others have been unable to agree on policy priorities or, in some cases, have been actively resistant to the idea of social protection. This seminar will introduce an ongoing project at the Research Centre on Effective States and Inclusive Development (ESID) that is examining the interaction between transnational ideas and domestic political economy in the adoption and implementation of social assistance and health insurance programmes in five study countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia. The seminar will present the project, an overview of global trends in social protection ideas, and provisional results of studies analysing the development of the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) in Ethiopia and the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) in Uganda.

Presentations by:
  • Sam Hickey (Director of Research, Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre (ESID), University of Manchester)
  • Anna McCord (Research Fellow, ESID; Research Associate, Overseas Development Institute (ODI); Research Affiliate, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU), University of Cape Town)
  • Tom Lavers (ILO Research)
Sarah Cook, Director, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)
Christina Behrendt, Senior Social Protection Policy Specialist, ILO Social Protection

List of participants: