Accepted paper:

Interests, resources and policy networks: examining social protection policy transfer in Kenya

Authors:

Marion Ouma (University of South Africa)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines how different interests shaped social protection policy-making processes in Kenya. By mapping relations among actors in the social protection policy network, we demonstrate how the web of compatible interests and linkages, and a manipulation of resources, shaped policy adoption.

Paper long abstract:

Understanding the recent uptake of social protection policies in Kenya requires a more nuanced consideration beyond explanatory variables of social learning, political settlements and structural forces. A better explanation necessitates an examination of the web of interactions among actors seeking to influence policy change. For this reason, we examine the policy network as the space of interaction between a plurality of actors with different and varied interests, resource base and legitimacy to understand the adoption of social protection policies in Kenya. This paper uses a case study approach with a view of understanding the adoption of the Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CT-OVC) and the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP). The methodology involves a qualitative research design based on in-depth interviews, a review of relevant documents and participant observation. By mapping out power relations among actors within the social protection policy network, we demonstrate how the web of compatible interests and linkages, and a manipulation of resources to influence others, shaped policy transfer and subsequent policy adoption. Keywords: social protection, interests, resources, Kenya, policy transfer, policy network

panel M4
Deconstructing the political economy of policy diffusion in developing countries through the case of social protection [paper]