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Social protection and civil registration: more than a technical fix


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Presentation by Arjan de Haan (IDRC) at the international conference on innovations in Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) systems - Ottawa on 27-28 February 2018. See more at

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Social protection and civil registration: more than a technical fix

  1. 1. Social protection and civil registration: more than a technical fix Arjan de Haan Employment and Growth IDRC CRVS Innovation 27-28 February 2018
  2. 2. Employment and Growth program • promote employment and economic opportunities of vulnerable groups • solutions to barriers to women’s empowerment, enhance youth employment, new business and financing models Social protection - how registration matters • sine qua non, not a given, not a panacea • multi—sectoral: protective and productive • it’s political ! 2
  3. 3. Lessons from social protection Well designed transfers have large positive impacts, increasingly in low-income countries Success is in simplicity – unconditional transfers work very well – but design matters: • for targeted cash transfers, household data key • and for universal – the same holds Examples of how registration and policies leverage each other (Nepal, Senegal) 3
  4. 4. “We cannot be content, when we know that 6% of the population lives in conditions of indigence. (…) We are going to go where they live. We want not only to provide subsidies, we want their children to study, to have health assistance, and we want to include them into social networks and into the society in its entirety. We are going to build a bridge between them and their rights, so that they can exercise them to defeat their conditions of extreme poverty”. Ricardo Lagos, President of the Republic of Chile. Presidential address, May 2002 4
  5. 5. Social protection: more than hand-outs Impacts are multi-sectoral, potential synergies In Latin America IDRC focused on `graduation`: linking cash transfer benefits to banks and investments Similar to productive oriented (e.g., Ethiopia) Can registration promote move informal –> formal ? Social policies – and instruments to make them work – are investments 5
  6. 6. Afghanistan: ``Targeting Ultra Poor Project Gives Women Identity and Dignity`` “By bringing in income to the household, she is gaining dignity, not only within her family, but also in the community” Program helps beneficiaries acquire a tazkera—the national identity card, equivalent of a birth certificate—which enables them to vote in elections, apply for government services, employment, a bank loan, among other things 6
  7. 7. This is a political process Registration is about identity (gender and diversity matter), and social policies and programs can leverage these Vice versa: identity and registration can be key for uptake, also move from formal to informal sector Access is about rights, being a citizen, and being economic citizens 7