ESR 12 Building coherent social protection systems
Early Stage Researcher: Irene Among
Research Directors: Prof. Dr. Markus Kaltenborn (Institute of Development Research and Development Policy, Ruhr-University Bochum (RUB), Germany);
Prof. Dr. Andrew Fischer (International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Netherlands)
Numerous studies of the social systems of low- and middle-income countries have described that the fragmentation of social policy, in particular the lack of coordination and coherence between the individual subsystems, has led to major implementation problems. Frequently, different institutions supervise the various social programmes and the requirements for social benefits are formulated or interpreted differently. This makes it difficult for the beneficiaries, who are often addressees of several programmes, to find the right contacts and to understand the structures of the support they receive. These problems are even further intensified if neighbouring policy areas (e.g. labour market policy, child protection, public health) are not adequately coordinated with social policy. In some countries, the coordination of the different social protection areas is carried out by a so-called framework law, setting out general rules that apply uniformly to all social protection areas or containing provisions on institutions that are interdepartmentally involved in the coordination, implementation or control of the various social policy programmes. The project will investigate these and other examples of frameworks, which facilitate coordination and coherence in social protection systems.
Identification of common pitfalls as well as of good practice examples of legal frameworks designed to coordinate different social protection areas. Derivation of recommendations on how to design coordination frameworks in settings where different social policy areas overlap.
The project involves a strong collaboration between the Institute of Development Research and Development Policy at RUB and the International Institute of Social Studies of EUR and therefore includes mandatory research stays of the ESR in The Hague for six months in total.
Further secondments are planned as field research periods (2 months each) in Africa, supervised by the SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (Ghana), the University of the Western Cape (South Africa) and Makerere University (Uganda).