Anticipatory Social Protection

Anticipatory Social Protection

Claiming dignity and rights You do not have access to this content

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Marilyn Waring, Anit M. Mukherjee, Elizabeth Reid, Meena Shivdas
17 Oct 2013
9781848591516 (PDF)

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The social protection landscape is currently characterised by competing discourses and agendas, given that bilaterals, multilaterals and private funders have different targets and have differing constituents whose lives they seek to improve. Critical aspects such as gender inequalities and inequities, women and children’s agency and community coping mechanisms are often not adequately addressed.

This publication introduces the Commonwealth Secretariat’s anticipatory and transformative social protection approach, which outlines the principles and strategies for advancing a gender-responsive, human rights-based approach to social protection.

It presents analysis and discussion of a framework for social protection, models of good practice from across the Commonwealth, and innovative ways of providing social protection that are not based on men and women being in full-time paid work in the formal economy.

This publication will assist policy-makers and development practitioners in making informed decisions about programme design and delivery so that beneficiaries’ access to and participation in social protection mechanisms are fully realised.
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  • Foreword

    The Commonwealth Secretariat’s social protection work arises from our mandates to address gender inequalities and inequities and work on issues affecting small states. It particularly reflects an outcome of commissioned research on the gender and policy dimensions of unpaid HIV care work. The Ninth Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting in 2010 highlighted the need to focus on social protection for women’s empowerment and social justice given their critical role in sustaining the informal, subsistence and care economy sectors.

  • Acknowledgments

    We acknowledge the policy-makers, researchers and activists who were part of the October 2011 Commonwealth Roundtable on ‘Sustaining gender-responsive social protection and economic resilience’ (London, Commonwealth Secretariat), where the collective thinking towards a framework for anticipatory social protection took root. The Roundtable saw the launch of the publication, Who Cares? The Economics of Dignity, a research journey on unpaid work in HIV care in 11 countries. We owe an immense debt of gratitude to the unpaid carers who shared the realities of living with acute time poverty and without dignity. Their stories left us grappling with more questions about the human rights of those without social protection. Hopefully this volume provides some answers.

  • Abbreviations and Acronyms
  • About the Authors
  • Towards an Anticipatory and Transformative Social Protection Agenda

    Social protection is now established as a central aspect of the international development discourse. It gained traction in the aftermath of the financial and fiscal crisis that has gripped much of the world since late 2007. With the 2015 endpoint of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agenda fast approaching, the discussion on social protection is juxtaposed with that of a long-term development paradigm drawing upon the lessons learned over the last decade and a half. Social protection could form the core of a future global strategy to eliminate all forms of inequity in the post-2015 world.

  • Rights and Unpaid Work: A Critical Review of International Experience

    The role of the Commonwealth in shaping the emerging global dialogue on social protection is significant against the backdrop of the global financial crisis and its aftermath. It is widely acknowledged that what started off as a financial sector crisis in 2007 escalated into a ‘compound crisis’, which is still putting a fiscal strain on the major economies of the world in 2013. At the same time, economically weaker nations are grappling with severe volatility in food and fuel prices, which is stoking inflation in countries previously unaffected by downturns in the global economy.

  • Regional Developments

    In Africa there is little history of central government social protection beyond pension schemes for civil servants. As in the Pacific, communities and villages have relied on traditional forms of support to provide basic food, water and shelter, often in the context of clans or extended families. Low-income, aid-dependent countries could not afford even the smallest cash transfer programmes, and their capacity for efficient delivery and corruption-free administration has been highly questionable.

  • Politics of Care and Isolation: Case Studies
  • The Carer's Journey

    Bill was my companion, colleague, lover and husband. For most of our life together, we lived and worked in Africa. Our son John-William, was born when we lived in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The respect and trust we shared for each other, the fineness of Bill’s character and his gregarious personality drew others into our company. Life was rich, challenging and rewarding.

  • Endnote

    What social protection might encompass is currently a contested space in the framing of the debate and the practice. There are many players and many claimants for priority social protection measures. The World Bank and other multilaterals have given strong support to CCTs as an intervention to support the poor in the adjustment process. This domination is most evident in Central and South America. In Africa the establishment of social action investment funds has been a common response especially with public works programmes. Social protection has been seen as donor driven with many short-term pilots. At the national level, administrative capacity to carry out good social protection strategies is a common problem.

  • Notes
  • References and Bibliography
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