• APSP Staff and other participants complete an EPRI course on Social Protection
  • Field Visit during a training session on Social Protection in Mombasa, Kenya
  • Cash transfer programme for persons with disabilities in Maputo, Mozambique
  • Multigenerational faces of vulnerability
  • Older persons are among the vulnerable groups in Africa
  • Participants of the Western Africa Peer Learning and Exchange Workshop in Dakar, Senegal
  • Cash transfer programme in Ghana
  • Plenary Session during the Eastern and Central Africa Peer Learning and Exchange Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya
  • Field Visit during the Southern Africa Peer Learning and Exchange Workshop in Lilongwe, Malawi
  • Beneficiaries of Social Protection programmes show off entrepreneurial projects they have started since programmes commenced
  • Social Protection Programmes also look at children as a vulnerable group

The APSP

Vision

An African continent free from poverty and vulnerability.


Mission Statement

To create partnerships with Civil Society and other organizations to engage with the Governments and International Development Agencies (IDAs) to develop and implement innovative Social Protection strategies and pro­grammes that make a difference in people’s lives in Africa.

Kenya’s election campaigns for the fourth president and the first under the new constitutional dispensation are winding down to a nail biting conclusion. The top contenders have all launched manifestos that are geared towards changing the lives of Kenyans and the biggest winners so far seem to be the poor and vulnerable segments of the population. Unfortunately the promises remain pre-election pledges with no tangible evidence towards implementation until the individual candidate take office, a wait and see situation to contend with. In any case, the fact that Social Protection is forming a key debate agenda goes to show how important protecting the vulnerable in society is, given that the path to sustainable development is nothing short of inclusive.

Pessimistic suppositions aside, a change from the status quo of economic rhetoric to sustainable development hinged on inclusive long term models have now encapsulated African campaigns. These policy orientations are looking at building resilience among populations that are most susceptible to shocks of daily living. In this regard the key question is to what extent are these promises deliverable? The sitting president of Ghana, His Excellency John Mahama, during his campaigns appreciated the value of Social Protection as a viable strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Having pledged to establish a Ministry dedicated to Social Protection if the Ghanaian population deemed him fit for office, now Ghanaians champion Social Protection through the Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection.

Currently, the trend among political parties in Kenya is to look at viable options to address poverty through policies that not only foster economic growth but also enhance inclusiveness and long term sustainability. Social Protection is one such policy that builds the resilience of the most vulnerable and provides them with crucial avenues to sustenance that prevents them from falling further into poverty say during old age or building their asset base. Social Protection in Kenya primarily looks at three very distinct areas: Health (Accessibility and Affordability, most popular and controversial being the provisions for the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), Social Security (highly preoccupied with pensions) and Social Assistance. Social Assistance is perhaps one of the key congruent of Social Protection. Most people may not know it as Social Protection but rather look at Cash Transfer Programmes, School Feeding Programmes, Public Works Programmes, Food for Work Programmes, Emergency Relief Programmes to name but a few. As the African organization that seeks to harmonize international, regional and national instruments for Social Protection, by building capacity for the grassroots (Civil Society Organizations), who in turn effectively engage in Social Protection processes, we would like to endorse this shift in policy focus.

Importantly, the APSP would like to call on the political parties in Kenya to ensure that once they take up office they effect their pre-election pledges specifically with regards to Social Protection. We are very pleased to note that major parties are talking about Social Protection in their manifestos. The 50th anniversary elections (2013) have clearly outlined the importance of Social Protection and whichever way the elections go, we hope to be assured that the most vulnerable are protected. For good measure we would like to single out key provisions that have been made with regard to Social Protection.

Manifestos have touched on increasing access to primary health, increasing access to micro-credit, establishing tax incentives for pension savings, a rights based approach to Social Protection enshrined within basic human rights provisions in the constitution, cash transfers run from county governments with a goal of universal coverage, reducing the cost of living, introducing basic minimum packages for workers to name but a few.

These provisions are critical as has been proven in countries across the global which have effectively instituted Social Protection programmes that have a ripple effect on the economy as well as in the lives of the most poor and vulnerable. The expansion of cash transfer programmes for instance has been known to increase school attendance, nutrition, productivity, enhance local business as well as empower vulnerable members of society. It is up to the political leadership and all stakeholders to live up to their duty of common humanity and protect vulnerable members of society. Is this not the true measure of society, how it treats the weak amongst them?

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