The Economic Policy Research Institute (EPRI), in collaboration with the Africa Institute for Health and Development (AIHD), Institute of Developmental Studies, Maastricht Graduate School of Governance and UKAID,  organised for a two weeks training course in Designing and Implementing Social Protection Programmes, in the lovely coastal town of Mombasa, Kenya from 9th – 20th July 2012. The training which brought together participants from as far as Yemen to Sao Tome was an enlightening experience for government officials, civil society organisations as well as international development partners. APSP which was represented by Mr. Edmond Odaba, Programmes Manager, Nancy Dayo, Programmes Officer and Robert Mwanyumba, Advocacy & Communications Coordinator, could only rave about the training. The training which touched on the technical aspects of Social Protection delved into Policy Formulation, Micro-Simulation, Monitoring and Evaluation and Financial Inclusion. The all round training also allowed for specialisation given the fact that different participants had different areas of interest and expertise. The biggest resource however was not only the actual training but also, the sharing of country experiences among participants. A great resource pool was harnessed from different government ministries, different countries, different professionals, personalities and passions. The convergence under Social Protection was indeed a great learning experience.

Social Protection at core remains, as APSP champions, a great means of addressing poverty and vulnerability. What is needed is not merely a transposition of best practices but rather a contextual application of different programmes designed to reduce poverty and bridge the poverty gap. It is then imperative that a concerted effort be realised among the different stakeholders, each playing a complementary role rather than an adversarial role.

It is these opportunities to share and collaborate that build Social Protection programmes and inform the debate on how best to implement Social Protection policies. APSP would like to congratulate all the participants of the course and more especially platform members who also managed to attend and extend a warm and hearty congratulations for their dedication and hard work.

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