Accepted paper:

Social protection institutionalization trajectories: mapping fragmented vs integrated approaches in the developing world


Tessa Hochfeld (University of Johannesburg)
Sophie Plagerson (University of Johannesburg)

Paper short abstract:

Social protection institutionalization trajectories are varied. This study maps fragmented vs integrated approaches in the distribution of social protection functions across national departments and institutions in the developing world.

Paper long abstract:

In the past 25 years, global commitments and national governments have endorsed social protection programmes as a means to addressing poverty and inequality. This has resulted in a growing level of institutionalization of social protection within national government administrations. Yet, particularly in response to different programmatic emphases by international institutions such as the World Bank and the International Labour Organization, there is considerable cross-country variation in the institutional configurations that have resulted. The trajectory of institutionalization has in many cases entailed the establishment of new institutions in parallel to existing departmental systems (particularly where the emphasis has shifted from social insurance to social assistance), in other cases new programmes have been implemented by existing departments. This paper reports the findings of a mapping exercise, examining the departmental location of social protection programmes across a range of middle and low income countries. Each country is reviewed in terms of the historical development of institutions (e.g. have new departments been created to manage new programmes), and the number of departments across which social protection functions are distributed (as a proxy for the level of coordination between programmes). The research forms a preliminary analysis which can support further research on the design and implementation of comprehensive social protection systems towards the achievement of the SDGs.

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