Tag Archives: DFID

Call for child-sensitive social protection

A number of donors and organisations are currently working together to try to persuade governments in southern Africa to adopt social protection programmes, aimed at assisting the most vulnerable members of our society. In particular, these organisations would like to see child-sensitive social protection policies being adopted.

The arguments in favour of child-sensitive social protection can be found in a joint statement, produced in mid-2009. This statement was produced and is still being actively used by, DFID, HelpAge International, Hope & Homes for Children, the Institute of Development Studies, the International Labour Organisation, the Overseas Development Institute, Save the Children UK, UNDP, UNICEF and the World Bank.

The statement argues that social protection is important, as it supports progress towards many of the Millennium Development Goals, can boost the effectiveness of investments in health, education, and water and sanitation, and can help the poorest and most marginalised in society attain a decent standard of living.

The statement says that social protection measures should be child-sensitive as children have particular needs, are particularly vulnerable, and that investment in their development can have long term benefits for them, as well as for society as a whole.

So what should child-sensitive social protection do?  It should focus on aspects of well-being that include:

  • providing adequate child and maternal nutrition
  • access to quality basic services
  • supporting families and caregivers in their childcare role,
  • addressing gender inequality
  • preventing discrimination and child abuse
  • reducing child labour
  • increasing caregivers’ access to employment or income generation
  • preparing adolescents for their own livelihoods.

These aims can be achieved using a range of social protection measures such as:

  • Social transfers (regular, predictable payments in cash or kind)
  • Social insurance (supporting access to healthcare and other services)
  • Social services and
  • Policies, laws and regulations that protect families’ access to resources, promote employment and support them in their child-care role.

The document calls on governments and other role players to set priorities and begin taking steps to progressively realize a “basic social protection package that is accessible to all those in need and is fully child-sensitive.”

You can download the full document by clicking on the picture above, or from here. You can also find more information and resources here:

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Helping the poor access financial services

Across the world, over 170 poor people receive regular payments of money, or cash transfers, from governments. Now a new study outlines how governments could use these payments to help include the poor access financial services they have largely been excluded from until now.

The report, called “Banking the Poor via G2P Payments” was produced by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and CGAP –  an “independent policy and research center dedicated to advancing financial access for the world’s poor.” (G2P means government to person.)

Genrally, governments deliver payments to people in cash (such as over the counter at a post office or other delivery point), or through electronic cards that only allow the person to withdraw money, but nothing else. The CGAP paper reports that governments could make life a whole lot easier for poor people by adopting electronic cards that give people access to basic financial services such as bill payments, deposits, and withdrawals.

Governments who currently pay social grants in could save a lot of money by switching to electronic payments. And a switch to a more financially inclusive service would save poor people time and money, and enable them to manage their finances more productively (for example, instead of having to travel to a fixed pay point to withdraw cash, they could use the card to pay for purchases at a local store — or transfer money to relatives in other places.)

Existing programmes in Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa are proving the benefits of such an option.  According to the report’s authors,”a growing body of evidence shows that financial services enable poor people to better withstand shocks, build assets, and link into the wider economy as fuller economic citizens.”

A more comprehensive outline of the report can be found here.

And you can download the full report here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized