Social Protection for Africa s Children

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Sudhanshu Handa, Stephen Devereux, Douglas Webb
Taylor & Francis, Sep 30, 2010 - Business & Economics - 256 pages
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Social protection is an increasingly important part of the social policy dialogue in Africa, and yet because of its relatively new place in a rapidly evolving agenda, evidence on critical design choices such as targeting, and on impacts of social protection interventions, is mostly limited to case studies or small, unrepresentative surveys. This impressive collection makes a major contribution to building the evidence base, drawing on rigorous analysis of social protection programmes in several African countries, as well as original research and thinking on key topical issues in the social protection discourse.

Social Protection for Africa’s Children is divided into four parts. The first presents economic and human-rights based right arguments for social protection as an integral part of the social policy menu in Africa. This is followed by a part on targeting, which highlights some of the key policy trade-offs faced when deciding between alternative target groups. The third part presents rigorous quantitative evidence on the impact of social cash transfers on children from programmes in South Africa, Malawi and Ethiopia and the final part addresses a set of issues related to social justice and human rights.

This book significantly advances existing knowledge about social protection for children in Africa, both conceptually and empirically. It makes a strong case for social protection interventions that address the short term (amelioration) and long term (structural) needs of children, and shows that programming in this sector for children is both feasible and achievable. Policy makers and practitioners in this sector will have, in this book, the theoretical and empirical evidence necessary to advance social protection for Africa’s children in the decades to come. Furthermore, this book should be an essential resource to postgraduates and students focussing on development economics in Africa.

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About the author (2010)

Sudhanshu Handa is Associate Professor of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served as UNICEF Regional Social Policy Advisor for East and Southern Africa in 2007-08 while on leave from UNC.

Stephen Devereux is a researcher at the Institute of Development Studies and a Director of the Centre for Social Protection. He has worked extensively in Africa and his research interests include famine, food security and social protection.

Douglas Webb is a social scientist with 20 years of experience of HIV and social development issues in east and southern Africa. He has worked for Save the Children UK as HIV Adviser in London and is currently based in UNICEF in Ethiopia.

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