The role of development assistance in the development of social protection systems in sub-Saharan Africa

Over the past two decades, social protection has become an integral part of antipoverty policy and strategies in developing countries. A growing evidence base shows generally positive impacts of social protection which has favoured the adoption and expansion of these policies. However, the pace by which social protection programmes have expanded, as well as the type of programmes that have been adopted, vary substantially across countries and world regions.

The aim of this study is to analyse the factors which have contributed to or hindered scaling up social protection systems, and how Sweden as a donor country could contribute to the continued development of social protection systems in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in general, and with Kenya as a specific case study.

The research questions include:

  • What are the factors highlighted by the literature that contribute to the building of nationally owned social protection systems in SSA and other world regions?
  • What are the key predictors of social protection adoption and expansion? What is role of aid in that process?
  • What are the policy and financial instruments used by Sida to support the adoption and expansion of social protection in SSA?
  • What has been the role of donors, and Sida in particular, in the adoption and expansion of social protection programmes in Kenya? How does the Kenya experience speak to theory and evidence from other countries in SSA?

Miguel Niño-Zarazúa, Lead researcher, Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow, UNU-WIDER

Ana Horigoshi, Development economist with a PhD from Université Paris Dauphine-PSL

Alma Santillan-Hernandez, Professor of Economics at the Autonomous University of Hidalgo State

Ernesto Tiburcio, Doctoral student at the Economics and Public Policy Department of Tufts University

Chair, reference group: Joakim Molander

Project manager at EBA: Lisa Hjelm