External actors and the rise of social protection in Africa: a case study of Zimbabwe
Samuel Kapingidza (University of the Western Cape)
Stephen Devereux (Institute of Development Studies)
Paper short abstract:
External actors have invested heavily in propagating social protection policies and programmes in Africa in the past 20 years. While there is a huge consensus that social protection is beneficial, there are questions about whether this process of induced adoption is nationally owned or donor-driven.
Paper long abstract:
External actors have invested heavily in propagating social protection policies and programmes throughout Africa in the past 20 years. This policy transfer process has been led by the international development community - bilateral and multilateral donors, United Nations agencies, international financial institutions and international NGOs. Strategies include: (1) building the evidence base for positive impacts, especially of cash transfer programmes; (2) building government capacity through training courses and technical advisors; (3) directly financing the technical and recurrent costs of social protection programmes; and (4) deepening political commitment by commissioning national social protection policies. While there is a broad consensus that social protection is intrinsically beneficial, there are questions about whether this process of induced adoption is nationally owned or donor-driven: are donor agendas aligned or in conflict with national priorities? Zimbabwe is analysed as a case study country because the evolution of social protection thinking and practice in Zimbabwe exemplifies these policy processes and programming conundrums.
The politics of implementing social protection programmes: political competition, state capacity and policy feedback [paper]