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Question of the Week 6


How can social protection programmes promote entrepreneurship and how can they best benefit informal sector workers?

Reactions (14)


Abubakar Muhammad Moki, PhD - Office of the President, Cabinet Secretariat, Republic of Uganda
2016-08-10 12:53


How can social protection programmes promote entrepreneurship?

This can mainly be done through provision of productive assets such as goats, poultry, rabbits, improved seeds among others.  The productive assets should be provided through organised groups and be applied on revolving basis.  These would promote entrepreneurship, production and productivity.

How can they best benefit informal sector workers?

They can benefit informal sector workers by working through existing community groups and association especially those established... read more »

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Daniel Opio - Federation of Uganda Employers
2016-08-10 14:37

Although various scholars have criticized social protection programmes, on a very high note, the beneficiaries have applauded the government and other stakeholders for such programmes, some community members like the elderly are getting grants on monthly basis to help them improve on their livelihoods while others like the youth are using the funds from the youth fund programme to engage in various enterprises such as poultry, piggery, farming among others.

As for the informal sectors, they have not benifited from the protection programmes s... read more »

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Sally Peberdy - Gauteng City-Region Observatory, Johannesburg, South Africa
2016-08-11 10:26

This is a complex question and warrants a longer response than this. The informal sector is a complex arena involving a wide range of participants and activities which may involve different responses. Similarly social protection programmes are varied. Social protection can involve child care allowances, old age pensions, medical care, maternity pay, disability pay, unemployment insurance, safety and security. Access is usually determined by access provisions of the country where the entrepreneur lives. In countries where universal social grants... read more »

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Miriam Katunze - Economic Policy Research Center
2016-08-11 10:32

How can social protection programmes promote entrepreneurship?

Social protection and entrepreneurship are two opposing terms with one word in common-risk. While social protection is intended to reduce risk and alleviate poverty, entrepreneurship entails the taking of risk to innovate, be a pioneer or  an investor. Literally speaking, social protection can not promote entrepreneurship. However, if it is specifically given to inventors and pioneers of businesses/investments/enterprises, it will act like a compensation for their work, motivate ... read more »

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Marion Ouma - University of South Africa
2016-08-11 11:11

The informal sector provides the biggest source of employment in most Sub- Saharan Africa, yet it is the most neglected in the provision of social protection programme. Unemployment is a main problem in Africa and contributes greatly to poverty. Little attention has been paid to the working-age poor in Africa with most programmes targeting the "deserving poor" or those in formal employment. Social assistance programmes have been designed to largely target children, older persons, persons with disability or the very poor while the employed benef... read more »

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Keetie Roelen - Centre for Social Protection, Institute of Development Studies, UK
2016-08-11 13:32

Promotion - helping people to move out of poverty - can be seen as one of the objectives of social protection. It is the objective that has gained a lot of attention in the past years, evidenced by the momentum that has galvanised around graduation in social protection and evidence of promotive impacts. A conference on graduation and social protection co-organised by IDS in Kigali in 2014 and FAO's 'From Protection to Production' programme testi... read more »

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Sergio Falange - Mozambican Civil Society Platform for Social Protection
2016-08-11 17:28

Social protection programs is aimed to promote human capital, preventing the situations of risk, protect in situation of extreme vulnerability and to strength social justice of the families.

Based on this principle, by providing assistance to families in poverty through social protection programs, with the clear understanding of program objectives and why the families are inserted, they seek to reproduce the assistance they receive through investment value of the subsidies for small income-generating programs that can support the short, medi... read more »

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Daniel Kumitz - Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Lusaka
2016-08-11 23:01

Let me start by criticizing the question for it suggests that the best way to assist informal workers by way of social protection had to do with entrepreneurship. These are two different things.

Social protection encompasses social insurance and social assistance benefits to provide income security, basic human rights and human welfare. In some frameworks, for example the African Union framework it includes (access to and provision of) social services. Therefore, social protection for informal workers is about providing income security (when... read more »

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Vinicius Ferreira
2016-08-12 01:41

It is quite common that countries  underdeveloped have a more strong participation of the informal sector on the gross national product. Usually, these workers of the informal sector do not have their labor rights guaranteed. On the other hand, entrepreuneuship also depends on access to credit, institutional framework and management skills.  Then, social protection measures are even more needed, so to provide a minimum live standard that is a pre-requisite in order to encourage entrepreuneurship.

In the Brazilian experience of the "Brasil wi... read more »

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eleasara Antunes - Netherlands Embassy
2016-08-12 20:53

Social protection can be important to create a buffer allowing poor households to invest in small businesses, either by providing cash or training. Many small entrepreneurs will use the abilities learned to secure their business and if possible expand. Workers in informal sector are in the margins of formal social protection systems, there are very little incentives to include this group into the formal sector, especially for the workers. The main role of social protection for informal workers should be to provide skills and business developmen... read more »

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Erick Nyambedha - Maseno University, Kenya
2016-08-15 17:22

Social protection programmes can borrow a leaf from the innovative activities of the beneficiaries of CT-OVC who in a small way have invested this little money into the small scale businesses to give them a sense of economic security but without any training/skills in entrepreneurship. Social protection can therefore promote entrepreneurship and benefit informal sector workers by first encouraging the informal sector workers to join what we call chamas in Kenya. Chamas can be avenues through which social protection programmes ... read more »

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Julian Jamison - Global INsights Initiative, The World Bank
2016-08-18 23:51

Thanks for the mention of the Blattman et al. paper from Uganda on the WINGS program, of which I am a coauthor. We have another paper which might be relevant to this discussion, from Liberia:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2594868

In that project we find that at-risk young urban men who are given an unconditional cash grant do attempt to start small businesses (which is great in itself!), but that the businesses generally fail within one year (in large part, we believe, due to highly insecure property rights).

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Laura Alfers - WIEGO & Rhodes University
2016-08-25 09:04

How can social protections benefit informal workers?

I agree with the statement above by Daniel Kumitz that social protection should primarily seen to be about providing income security, rather than the framing of this question as one of entrepreneurship. Social protections cannot on their own correct inequalities in the global political economy which disadvantage informal workers (such as limiting their market access).

However, social protections which deal with the structural factors that prevent informal workers from earning more secur... read more »

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Zeremariam Fre - SPIDA Ethiopia
2016-09-5 10:52

In most Least Developed Countries(LDC's) s, entrepreneurial ability and expansion is hindered because of poor access to finance, lack of initial capital at large, social services and infrastructural development. Thus, social protection programmes are some of the means designed to narrow this gap by strengthening the participation of individuals in the informal sector and improving entrepreneurship at the community level.Such interventions are also designed to facilitate and enhance the participation of youth and women in the informal sector whe... read more »

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