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The Politics of Social Protection in Africa

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Sam Hickey's (University of Manchester) presentation at the Transfer Project Workshop in Arusha, Tanzania on 2nd April 2019.

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The Politics of Social Protection in Africa

  1. 1. The politics of social protection in Africa Transfer Project Workshop, Arusha, 2-4 April 2019 Sam Hickey, Research Director, ESID Professor, Global Development Institute, Manchester Joint research with Tom Lavers (ex-ILO, now GDI) et al
  2. 2. ESID www.effective-states.org  Global Development Institute, University of Manchester  A DFID-funded research centre, 2011-2019  Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Latin America Key research question  Under what political conditions do developmental forms of state capacity and elite commitment emerge and become sustained?
  3. 3. All papers available at: http://www.effective-states.org/publications/ Ethiopia - Tom Lavers (2016). ‘Social protection in an aspiring ‘developmental state’: The political drivers of Ethiopia’s PSNP‘, ESID Working Paper 73. Ghana - Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai (2018) ‘Understanding elite commitment to social protection in Ghana: the political settlement and transnational policy coalitions’, ESID Working Paper 112. Kenya - Fredrick Wanyama and Anna McCord (2017) ‘The politics of scaling up social protection in Kenya’, ESID Working Paper 87. Mozambique - Lars Buur and Padil Salimo (2018) ‘The Political Economy of Social Protection in Mozambique’, ESID Working Paper 103. Rwanda - Tom Lavers (2016). ‘Understanding elite commitment to social protection: Rwanda’s Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme‘, ESID Working Paper 68. Tanzania – Rasmus Pedersen and Thabit Jacob (2018) ‘Social protection in an electorally competitive environment: Productive social safety nets in Tanzania, ESID Working Paper 109. Uganda - Sam Hickey and Badru Bukenya (2016). ‘The politics of promoting social cash transfers in Uganda‘, ESID Working Paper 69. Zambia - Kate Pruce and Sam Hickey (2017). ‘The politics of promoting social protection in Zambia‘. ESID Working Paper 75.
  4. 4. Key research question What drives political commitment to social protection in Africa? From adoption to institutionalisation
  5. 5. What do we know already? • One-off case-studies: politics matters • Some comparative analysis – Tends to over-emphasise the role of donors • Problematic quantitative analyses – But what type of outcome is being explained? – Programme adoption, social expenditure, coverage…? – Data reliability
  6. 6. GDP and SP 0.00 2.00 4.00 6.00 8.00 10.00 12.00 14.00 $0 $2,000 $4,000 $6,000 $8,000 $10,000 $12,000 $14,000 $16,000 $18,000 Public social protection, excluding health care (% of GDP) (ILO 2014) GDP per capita (current US$)
  7. 7. Democracy and SP? Egypt Liberia Tunisia Mauritius Algeria South Africa Angola NamibiaMorocco Cape Verde Guinea-Bissau Botswana GhanaTanzania, United Republic ofTogo MaliSenegalBurundiMozambique BeninDjibouti Burkina Faso ZambiaSwaziland Rwanda Congo, Republic of Malawi Zimbabwe Uganda NigeriaCôte d'Ivoire KenyaMauritaniaCameroon Congo, Democratic Republic of Central African RepublicEthiopia Sierra LeoneNigerGambia GuineaEritrea Equatorial Guinea MadagascarChadSudan Lesotho 0.00 2.00 4.00 6.00 8.00 10.00 12.00 -10 -8 -6 -4 -2 0 2 4 6 8 10 Publicsocialprotection,excludinghealthcare as%ofGDP(ILO2014) Polity IV
  8. 8. An alternative approach Three key variables: • Transnational policy coalitions • ‘Democratisation’ – Meaningful elections and clientelism • Elite perceptions, especially of ‘crises’ Methods • In-depth case-studies, process tracing comparative analysis
  9. 9. Institutionalisation of social assistance Component Description Statutory (ISSA/SSA) The grounding of particular programmes in legislation and/or strategies:  0: none  0.25: pilot programme  0.5: full programme  0.75: Programme grounded in Social Protection Strategy or national development strategy  1: specific legal basis Reach (x3; SA Explorer) The reach of the programme as a proportion of the poorest 10% of the population Finance The proportion of government financing of the programme Implementatio n Implementation through government structures Scope Whether the programme is national in its scope. Geographically targeted programmes, where the whole country is potentially included would score 1. Pilots or programmes that are in the process of rolling out would score lower.
  10. 10. The institutionalisation of SA 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Ethiopia Ghana Kenya Mozambique Rwanda Tanzania Uganda Zambia
  11. 11. The transnational politics of promoting social protection in Africa • SCTs as a new global policy agenda – Contest: ideas & institutional positioning • Regional-level (Livingstone 2006, AU SPF 2009) • Country-level strategies: – Alliance-building with government officials – Pilots and evidence-building – Technical & financial assistance – Study tours • Getting political – PEA, advocacy, political coalition-building, alignment Hickey and Seekings, 2018, UNU-WIDER WP
  12. 12. Two main pathways to institutionalisation • Dominant (with or without ideology) – Ethiopia, Rwanda, also Mozambique • Competitive – Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, also Zambia • Negative case that proves the above rules – Uganda
  13. 13. Dominant pathway/s 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Ethiopia Mozambique Rwanda Uganda Rwanda Poverty crisis Moz Urban riots Poverty crisis Ethiopia Food crises
  14. 14. Dominant pathways: Ethiopia • Elite perceptions of existential crises: a series of ‘Armageddons’ – Factional split within the ruling coalition (2001) – Urban riots (2001) – Food/distributional crises (2001-03) • Transnational pressures? – ‘you don’t tell Ethiopians anything, you make suggestions’ – Donors regarded as unreliable, often ignored – New Coalition for Food Security (2003) – PSNP: delinked from wider international push for SCTs – Technical & financial assistance (gov’t contribution in kind) – Not welfarist: part of a productivist development strategy – Graduation for ‘able-bodied’?
  15. 15. Dominant pathways Cases Competitive elections? Elite crises? Coherent donor-driven coalition? Outcome Ethiopia N Y (2003) Y Rapid expansion (impartial) Rwanda N Y (2006-7) N Rapid expansion (impartial) Mozambique N Y (2008-10) Y Rapid expansion (partisan) Uganda N (2011) Y (2016) N Y Limited expansion (vote-buying)
  16. 16. Competitive pathways 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Ghana Kenya Tanzania Zambia Tanzania Tanzania 2015 Kenya Kenya 2007 Zambia 2011-2013? Ghana/Kenya 2012 Ghana 2007
  17. 17. • Initial donor-driven agenda – Pilots, evidence & coalition-building • Ideological resistance from political elites • But elites increasingly see political value of SCTs – electoral support & rent distribution – Elections in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania: Zambia? • Crises can matter too: Kenya and Zambia Competitive pathways
  18. 18. Competitive pathways Cases Competitive elections? Elite crises? Coherent donor-driven coalition? Outcome Ghana Y: 2008?, 2012, 2016 N Y Episodic expansion (partisan) Kenya Y: 2002, 2007, 2012, 2017 Y (2007-8)? Y Episodic expansion (political) Tanzania Y: 2010, 2015 N Y Episodic expansion (partisan) Zambia N: 2011 y: 2013 Y Episodic expansion
  19. 19. Social protection in Zambia
  20. 20. Zambia: the process • Early 2000s: PWAS does have support (but donors by-pass it) • Donor promotional strategies – Phase I (2003-7): ‘Kalomo-mania’; coalition-built by coherent donors – Phase II (2007-): Politics conducted at arms-length; donors/academics focus on the technical side (knowledge-base); RCTs and WB report • Government response – MoF: resistance; new Minister; poverty; rising stars co-opted – 2010: agree to scale-up pilot…as long as DFID signs-up for 10 years – 2011: new ‘pro-poor’ party takes power (Patriotic Front); manifesto – 2012: MoF and Cabinet Secretary persuaded of technical case – 2013: crisis in rent-distribution to rural areas; Pres’dt looks for alternative to agricultural subsidies; 700% scale-up – 2015: a further roll-out approved, problems with targeting model
  21. 21. Zambia: outcomes and analysis • Donors critical in building a coalition and forming SP as a credible policy agenda • Gains political support when aligned with new political dynamics • 2011: competitive pressures, new ‘pro-poor party’ - ? • 2013: Crisis in existing system of rent-distribution • ‘Thinking politically, acting technically’? • Politics largely done at arms-length via a (national) broker • Informed by ‘embedded’ development advisors • Donors focus on technical aspects • May help protect the programme from political capture
  22. 22. Uganda: the counter example? • Limited SP provision in early 2000s • Donor promotional strategies – Phase I (2002-6): some contestation amongst donors; coalition- building; formal methods (PRSP, studies); pilot – Phase II (2007-): improved donor co-ordination; PEA: new tactics; shift discourse from ‘poverty’ to ‘vulnerability’; ESP 2010 • Government response – Highly contested throughout (MoF); new Minister! – 2010: scale-up CT pilot, ‘a political fact on the ground’ – 2013: President adds new district (North) after direct lobbying, calls for national roll-out – 2015: SCG to reach 40 districts by 2020; GoU finance in response to strong donor pressure in election year
  23. 23. My Government aims to restore the dignity of our senior citizens…through in particular the provision of Senior Citizens Grants… Launching these grants in Nebbi today, represents a clear delivery on our Manifesto promises. President M7, Nebbi, International Women’s Day 2012/Launch of SAGE
  24. 24. Uganda: outcomes and analysis • A donor-driven agenda: gains limited political support when aligned with new political dynamics • Increasingly competitive pressures, extend constituency in the North • BUT: no distributional crisis • Other forms of clientelism preferred • ‘Acting politically’ has pay-offs, but at a cost: – How pro-poor? – ‘Country ownership’? • A new social contract or the politics of patronage?
  25. 25. • Multiple paths to institutionalisation of social assistance • Main pathways to institutionalisation involve either: – Dominant regimes facing an existential threat and seeking to re-establish strength and/or legitimacy – Competitive pressures driving SA as rent distribution • Transnational policy coalitions are important for adoption, but less so for institutionalisation Conclusions
  26. 26. Implications for SP practitioners • Politics and power relations matter – Need to grasp deeper logics and political dynamics – Coalition-building, donor coordination – Ideas matter: from evidence to ideology • The pros and cons of working politically • Towards a more joined-up approach: building new fiscal contracts in Africa? – e.g. domestic revenue mobilisation, bureaucratic capacity, structural transformation

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