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Social protection in Zambia

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Social protection in Zambia Empty Social protection in Zambia

Bài gửi  kosovohp on Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:27 pm

Zambia officially has extensive social protection targeted at low-capacity households, including social assistance (protection) and social insurance programmes (prevention), and programmes to improve economic productivity (promotion). However, these programmes face immense challenges and the actual coverage is very low and, in some cases, actually declining[31]. Some analysts describe the programmes' coverage as patchy and transitory and not especially coherent or logical way[31].

Public works, such as PUSH, and cash transfers are the main instruments used to protect consumption among low-capacity households by providing (1) seasonal safety nets to address cyclical poverty and vulnerability at times of need by offering employment and (2) community assets that are beneficial for productive activities[31]. In practice, however, the programme prioritises food transfers to areas affected by natural disasters where vulnerability is acute and infrastructure development has remained a secondary objective[31]. NGOs also have implemented short-term public works programmes implemented by NGOs, such as CARE’s agricultural inputs-for-assets (AICA) programme[31].

Social insurance initiatives, such as micro-insurance, health insurance and other contributory schemes exist, but these are very limited in their membership. Formal sector workers are protected by well-resourced pension, sickness and disability benefits, but most low-capacity households, especially in rural areas, work outside the formal sector[31].

The emphasis on protection at the expense of prevention and promotion means that households move out of poverty only very slowly because they are unable to invest in activities that have greater returns[31]. They remain highly at risk of sliding back into poverty and applying negative coping strategies[31]. A balance between protection, prevention and promotion, however can only be achieved through more and consistent resources[31]. Further improvements might also include[31]:

* improved understanding of low capacity households;
* improved implementation of existing programmes; and
* better coordination between different implementers and programmes.

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