International actors and social protection in Africa, 2000-2020

Monday, 11 May, 2020 - 16:00

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Whilst social protection policy has long been shaped and sometimes driven by international or transnational actors, in the 2000s these actors assumed new importance. Inter-governmental agencies, government aid agencies and international non-government organisations promote strongly the expansion of social protection in low- as well as middle-income countries. National governments have often been reluctant or unable to operate and (especially) to finance social protection programmes. International organisations have often stepped in to introduce or operate programmes themselves, whilst lobbying for national governments to take these over. Whilst sharing an enthusiasm for social protection, international organisations differ in their preferred models, their objectives and their underlying norms and values. The politics of social protection reform thus entails competition as well as cooperation between international organisations, and complex negotiations between them and national governments.

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