Annual Delegates Conference-Day 2

Annual Delegates Conference-Day 2

The session begun with a recap of the outstanding issues discussed during the previous day, and was led by Edmond Odaba. This gave way to the second session of the day that was chaired by Djermakoye Ide, a gallery walk. The Gallery walk was a picturesque display of each country’s activities for the year. Participants had an opportunity to walk round the room reading through and discussing with representatives from the specific countries strategies and programmes carried out during the course of the year. This was followed by an open plenary session where platforms engaged with each other on various issues. Lamin Saidykhan from the Gambia for example wanted to find out from the Kenyans how they had managed to conduct a budget tracking exercise. Regine Goma from the Republic of Congo, noted that Central Africa is lagging behind compared to other regions in the West, East and South and requested that support should be accorded to share learning and expertise to push forward the National Platforms in the region. Jeleel Odoom from Ghana was happy to share that the National Platform in Ghana is being continually consulted in the Social Protection discourse within the country and is increasingly becoming the focal point of consultation for both government and development partners. Erastus Maina from Kenya pointed out that he was impressed by the innovative models that other national Platforms are engaged in, for example in Zambia there is a Poor People’s Parliament that allows for sharing and learning.

Social Health Insurance

This segment of presentations was geared at showcasing the different healthcare financing models available. Ghana and Senegal made presentations looking at the models in their respective countries. Ghana’s presentation was made by Ebenezer Adjetey-Sorsey, while Senegal’s was put together by Amacadou Diouf. Mr. Adjetey-Sorsey spoke of the National Health insurance Scheme, looking at the legislative environment, administrative structure, financing mechanisms and coverage. In his presentation, he looked at the evolution of the healthcare in Ghana, specifically the transformation in financing models from pulled funding schemes, private health financing and government financed health insurance schemes. Diouf’s presentation looked at Senegal’s Universal Health Coverage that sought to increase coverage and make medical care accessible to all. In his presentation he noted that previous health insurance schemes had been dogged by poor contributions, poor governance structures and low coverage, especially for the poor and vulnerable. Some of the principles underlying the scheme include non-discrimination and equity.

Both presentations underscored the importance of creating linkages with other sectors to embody Alma-Ata’s sentiments regarding health: “physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”

The session was opened up to plenary and remarks from Abiola Tilley-Gyado from Nigeria drew on the similarity between the presentations from Ghana and Senegal, remarking that the same situation prevailed in Nigeria. The key challenge for accessing healthcare is the financing component of Health Insurance Schemes to boost coverage and especially for the poor.

Issues were raised on the capitation system used to finance healthcare insurance and how its management has been compromised leading to the loss in monies that could have been used to deliver more services and cover more people. Another concern revolved around sustainability of funding, which is key challenge especially when funds supporting these schemes originate from sources external to the state. Lastly, the challenge of schemes running across different ministries created issues of turf wars which delayed disbursement and caused inter-ministerial conflicts.

Child Sensitive Social Protection – John Njoka

The Director for the Regional and Multi-country Programme Unit began by stating that Save the Children, as the name implies, focuses on children. Programmes look at full spectrum programming to deliver maximum impacts for children.

The focus vis-a-vis social protection is based on addressing child poverty. The dimensions leading to the focus are based on harmful impacts of poverty on children that have long term impacts on the development and wellbeing of the child including: low self esteem, dashed ambition and hope, intergenerational poverty cycle etc. The issue of relative poverty cuts across both low income and high income economies and therefore gives credence for investment in children. Children under poverty will not change drastically unless there is a break in intergenerational poverty cycle through three breakthrough areas including child survival, improved learning and child protection. One way of arriving at this is through buffering family income shocks and reducing disparities in society for example statistics show that children from different economic brackets tend to stay in school for varied amounts of time i.e. children coming from higher income groups tend to stay in school for longer and vice versa. This realisation occasioned a rethinking of how to engage with social protection which has an impact on education, health, income regularisation, mitigation from shocks and stresses etc. In engaging with Child Sensitive Social Protection, Mr. Njoka, pointed out to three focus areas for Save the Children:

  • Child sensitive social protection – securing basic incomes
  • Child sensitive livelihoods – manage threats to income and assets
  • Transitions to work – access to services e.g. education, health etc.

These he added, need to be underlined by a robust monitoring and evaluation framework which can ascertain attributable impact of the programmes on children. In conclusion, he asserted that Child Sensitive Social Protection means maximising benefits for children and minimising harm.

Social Protection Policy in Madagascar – Rakotomalala Mirana

This presentation was a demonstration of the commitment to uphold the values of protecting the poor and vulnerable through the policy process which tends to elicit debate on financing and sustainability, definition of what social protection can and should encompass as well as the minimum package for benefits. The presentation focused on the path to development of a social protection policy. She explained that the document had been couched in several policy documents both national and international and finally culminated in a National Social Protection Policy on 22 September 2015. The policy aims at preventing shocks, assuring basic social security and access to social services. The three guiding principles include prevention, protection and promotion for the poor and vulnerable elaborated through access to social services, social assistance and social security. The system distinguishes the components by two i.e. contributive interventions (social security) and non-contributive interventions (social assistance and social action services). Some of the programmes articulated include: social security both public and private, health enterprises, programme for accessing and maintaining students in the education system, access to health services, transfers for natural catastrophes (Madagascar is prone to cyclones), cash transfers to manage extreme poverty, transfers towards vulnerable groups.

The policy defines a coordinating mechanism for the different social protection interventions due to the cross cutting (Ministerial mandates) nature of interventions. The strategy envisions centralised management of social protection in the country with technical committees constituted to operationalise the strategy in all the regions in Madagascar.

The presentation ended with a look at some of the challenges and gaps that exist and which require attention. These are:

  • An efficient policy system needs to have a high threshold for coordination and integration of social protection interventions to ensure maximum benefits.
  • Graduation mechanisms and the evaluation of programme impacts needs deliberate effort and capacity.

Progress in Delivering Social Protection Measures in Tanzania – Juliana Bernard

The journey for the development of Social protection continues to build momentum. Social Protection elements in Tanzania are founded in legislative and policy prescriptions. Advocacy the development of a social protection policy however continues and one such effort is based on establishing a universal older persons pension scheme. Efforts were founded on a feasibility study done in 2010 by HelpAge International in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Employment, exploring the gap in income security among Older Persons. The findings demonstrated the need for a universal pension leading up to lobbying and advocacy from both civil society and development partners. In 2012 the Social Security Regulatory Authority was commissioned to look into the viability of a universal social security scheme to which recommendations for a universal pension were made. Lobbying for the implementation of the scheme has been sustained and has seen political buy-in through incorporation into political manifestos. A universal transfer to persons above 70 years is slated to start in Zanzibar in 2016 and it is hoped to influence a similar rollout in Mainland Tanzania.

Constitutional Amendments proposed in 2014 – Ebenezer Adjetey-Sorsey

This session was chaired by Peace Murungi – Vice Chair who welcomed Mr. Adjetey-Sorsey to report back to delegates on the proposed amendments to the constitution.

Amendments to the constitution were as follows:

  • 2 Mission – expansion of the mission
  • Article III – Objects – looked at the mode of operation and collapsed the objectives to become APSP method of Operation (Objects changed to Method of Operation)
    • There was a proposal to create a committee for sociology to advise on key areas
    • Ebenezer said committee creation is already a preserve of the Board and it is advised not limit the Board’s power but rather maintain the board discretion in establishing pertinent committees for work
  • 5 Part III – Membership and Governance
    • 1 Membership mention of marginalised groups and prescribed a few within the text of the constitution.
    • 2 – Governance – it was suggested to separate the two membership and governance rather than have it together as was in the previous constitution. In addition, policy articulation was specified within the text on governance with regard to the Board’s functions.
  • 1.2.1 Number of Board Members
    • A minimum number of Board members was put in place to ensure a functional Board but also an upper limit of 11 members was established to allow for co-option.
      • Abiola Tilley-Gyado suggested that the upper limit be done away with and instead add two categories for women and the youth.
      • Peace Murungi, in support of Abiola, proposed that these categories be specified in the constitution.
      • Ebenezer Adjetey-Sorsey reiterated that by having the minimum threshold the constitution did not preclude any group from being represented and therefore maintaining the provision as is allows for the incorporation of representatives from different interest groups.
    • Article X – Office Bearers
      • This section put in place timeframes to ensure smooth transition of Board members preserving institutional knowledge and safeguarding continuity
    • Article XIV – General Meeting
      • This clause looked at creating a distinction between the Annual Delegates Conference (ADC) and the Annual General Meeting (AGM) the AGM was favoured during the election periods.

After deliberations, a motion to adopt the changes was proposed by Jeleel Odoom from Ghana. This motion was seconded by Dumisani Mnisi from Swaziland.

With the motion on the floor, the Chair Mr. Ebenezer Adjetey-Sorsey moved for a vote for or against the motion by delegates, each National Platform had a single vote.

Eligible voters Votes
For the motion 15
Against the motion 1
Abstained 1
Total tally 17
Eligible Voters 17

The motion was carried by the majority.

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