‘Policy pollination’: External actors and the rise of social protection in Africa

Dr. Stephen Devereux , Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK

External actors – bilateral and multilateral agencies (e.g. DFID, EU), UN agencies (e.g. ILO, UNICEF) and international financial institutions (World Bank) – have invested heavily in spreading social protection policies and programmes throughout Africa for the past 20 years. Strategies include: (1) financing social protection programmes; (2) building the evidence base on social protection impacts; (3) building government capacity through training, study tours and embedding policy advisors in ministries; and even (4) lead authoring National Social Protection Policies. While there is broad consensus that social protection is beneficial, questions arise about whether this ‘policy pollination’ process is nationally owned or donor-driven, and whether it is sustainable. Are the agendas of external actors aligned or in conflict with national priorities? What social protection would remain if external support stops?

About the speaker

Stephen Devereux is a researcher at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK, where he is Co-Director of the Centre for Social Protection. He also holds the NRF–Newton Fund (SA-UK) Research Chair in Social Protection for Food Security, affiliated to the DST–NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. He works on social protection, food security and famine, with a focus on Africa. His books include ‘Social Protection in Africa’, ‘Social Protection for Africa’s Children’, and ‘Informal and Formal Social Protection Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa’.

Date: 05 October 2018

Time: 12:00 - 13:00  CEST