Accepted paper:

Drivers of varieties of social protection programmes in Southern Africa

Authors:

Isaac Chinyoka (University of Johannesburg)

Paper short abstract:

This paper presents new evidence on why four Southern African countries provide social protection differently. I show that varieties reflect electoral competition that reinforces patronage and clientilism while domestic politics constrain international influence over implementation of programmes.

Paper long abstract:

Taxonomies of child benefits from the global North are of little assistance in understanding variation in Southern Africa because they focus primarily on their relationship with gendered divisions of labour, not on provision for children per se. In Southern Africa, where social assistance is the result of the combination of colonial inheritance, AIDS-related concerns over orphans and high rates of child poverty, the form of targeting is a crucial dimension of variation. This paper presents new evidence on how and why four countries in Southern Africa implement social protection for families with children in different ways. Qualitative and quantitative data is used, first, to construct a new taxonomy of welfare regimes and, second, to explain the variation. The taxonomy contrasts a pro-poor regime with high coverage and generous transfers (as in South Africa), a familialist regime with medium coverage, overall generosity but provides parsimonious cash benefits (as in Botswana), a mixed (pro-poor-familial) regime with low coverage and modest generosity (as in Namibia) and an agrarian one with low coverage and ungenerous benefits (as in Zimbabwe). These varieties are driven by electoral competition that reinforces patronage and clientilism in some countries while domestic politics constrain international influence over implementation of programmes in others.

panel M2
The politics of implementing social protection programmes: political competition, state capacity and policy feedback [paper]