«DIREC TIONS IN DE VELOPMENT Human Development Public Disclosure Authorized The Cash Dividend The Rise of Cash Transfer Programs in Sub-Saharan Africa ...»
The Roles of Social Protection: Protection, Prevention, and Promotion Social protection is often envisaged as providing ex post protection to those who have suffered shocks to ensure that they maintain a basic level of well-being and do not suffer irreversible losses; ex ante prevention, which decreases the probability that shocks, given that they occur, will have an adverse impact on those experiencing them; and ex ante promotion of individuals and households into increased and higher-return investments in assets, human capital, and livelihoods (see the accompanying figure). It is also mentioned as capable of transforming social risks and inequalities to empower marginalized and vulnerable groups for a more just society (Devereux and Sabates-Wheeler 2004).
Examples of social protection for individuals include food aid, subsidies, and transfers. Preventive programs include crop, weather, health, unemployment, or disability insurance; pensions; and public works programs. Promotive programs include nutrition programs, extension programs, vocational training, The Roles of Social Protection
Box 1.4 (continued) microcredit programs, and CCTs. Transformative social protection includes policy making and information campaigns to influence individuals’ attitudes or behaviors.
Other often-discussed features of social protection include its potential to reduce aggregate poverty and promote macroeconomic growth. The role of social protection as a component of the social contract is also important, as the state then ensures its citizens will maintain a basic level of welfare. In countries recovering from civil conflict, social protection is considered important for consolidating peace and strengthening the state (Blank and Handa 2008). Social protection interventions are seen as complementary to market-based mechanisms: they are able to provide protection from market failures and adverse market-based corrections (European University Institute 2010).
Social assistance programs, also known as safety nets, are defined as “noncontributory transfer programs targeted in some manner to the poor and those vulnerable to poverty and shocks” (Grosh and others 2008, 514). Programs in a country’s safety net system could include cash transfers, in-kind transfers, subsidies or fee waivers, and public works programs of various types. Others consider safety nets more narrowly, limiting them to programs that provide minimal benefits at minimum cost and that support beneficiaries only when markets fail to provide for their basic needs (Ellis, Devereux, and White 2009). The definition of safety nets used in this book represents the broader perspective.
CTs are part of safety net programs or systems and, therefore, are part of social protection in general. Depending on their specific features, CTs can play a protective role for individuals who have experienced an adverse shock (emergency or relief CTs); they can reduce the potential negative effect of shocks before they occur (that is, CTs that have been used to replace emergency food aid); they can play a promotive role by increasing investments in assets or human capital (CCTs and UCTs); and they may transform individuals’ attitudes to increase social justice and inclusion of excluded groups and minorities (women, OVCs, and so forth) (Blank and Handa 2008; Slater and others 2008). Although CTs can potentially address all the major roles of social protection, they should not necessarily be used to do so; instruments besides CTs should perhaps be used instead.
A well-executed CT typically does not stand alone but serves a country’s goals of protecting vulnerable groups and promoting growth. CTs Cash Transfers 25
Additional References on Social Protection in Africa Key references discussing the roles of social protection include Barrientos and Hulme (2008a), Devereux and Sabates-Wheeler (2004), and Guhan (1994). Another influential approach to understanding social protection has been the social risk management framework developed by Holzmann and Jørgensen (2001), which illustrates how social protection deals with risks.
Information about the presence and design of social assistance programs around the world can be found in Barrientos, Niño-Zarazúa, and Maitrot (2010).
For additional information about the rationale for, and appropriate implementation of, safety net programs and their accompanying systems, the reader is referred to Grosh and others (2008).
Specific literature on social protection programs in Africa includes a study by Ellis, Devereux, and White (2009), who motivate the use of social protection programs in Africa and describe how social protection programs have functioned.
Niño-Zarazúa and others (2010) discuss whether social protection, and especially cash transfers, will take root across Africa. Their focus is on the importance of political economy issues.
Holmes and Jones (2009) discuss the role of social protection in protecting children in West and Central Africa, whereas Blank and Handa (2008) examine the role of social protection in Eastern and Southern Africa. Sabates-Wheeler, Devereux, and Guenther (2009) discuss the relationship between social protection policies and agricultural policies for small producers, with a focus on Africa. Finally, European University Institute (2010) and Taylor (2010) provide additional useful information and discussions on social protection in Sub-Saharan Africa.
should be designed to complement other safety net and social protection programs to achieve synergies, reduce costs, and more effectively achieve national goals. For instance, CTs are often linked to income-generating programs or projects that help engage the poor in the financial system or the formal economy. For more information about social protection and safety net programs, see boxes 1.4 and 1.5.
Remainder of the Book The rest of this book will provide the reader with in-depth information about Sub-Saharan Africa’s experience with CTs. Chapter 2 provides 26 The Cash Dividend additional information on the increase in CTs throughout the region, along with a more in-depth explanation of the reasons for this growth.
It also provides a general typology of cash transfers in Sub-Saharan Africa and highlights important strategic issues.
Chapter 3 provides a more detailed analysis of the CTs identified in terms of implementation and design features. It incorporates a summary analysis of programs’ components, as well as information on individual programs. The analysis is intended to paint a broad picture of the state of CTs throughout the region, to uncover some of the lessons already learned from existing programs, and to highlight areas where additional information would be useful. Chapter 4 synthesizes the information gained and concludes.
The review uncovered a large amount of information about many CTs, some of which is available in this book’s appendixes. Appendix A provides in-depth information about the major programs covered in the review and is useful for those seeking additional information about a specific program. Appendix B provides tables with summary information on program specifics as an additional reference to chapter 3.
1. Obviously, as discussions and programs are progressing throughout SubSaharan Africa, the data contained here have changed since the time they were gathered.
2. The total is 134 if programs with unofficial sources or unclear 2009 start dates are included.
3. See table B.28 in appendix B for the list of individuals who provided information for the review.
4. However, some cash transfers are part of larger public works programs.
5. The discussions here and elsewhere in the text regarding the appropriateness of CCTs or UCTs, as well as food or cash transfers (see the next paragraph in the main text), are obviously generalized and somewhat naive. Some of these issues are highlighted later in the text, but the bulk of this discussion is left to others as it is not the focus of the current book.
6. Some characteristics of CCTs, more so than of UCTs, render them less appropriate for rapid scale-up in times of crisis. However, having an established CT program, whether conditional or unconditional, in place before a crisis can help mitigate the effects of the crisis itself (Fiszbein, Ringold, and Srinivasan 2010).
Cash Transfers 27 References Andrade, Melissa. 2008. “Social Protection in Africa: A Mapping of the Growing Cash Transfer Experiences in the Region.” Presented at the International Poverty Centre, Brasília, May 20.
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