About Us

 

Southern African Social Protection Experts Network – SASPEN

Contact
About us
Steering Committee
Advisory Council
Social Protection
Terms of Reference
Promotional Logo

Contact

The administration and coordination of the network is handled by the network secretariat. The secretariat is hosted by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Zambia. The Head of the Secretariat and Network Coordinator is FES Programme Manager Mr Vince Chipatuka.

Physical and Postal Address of the Secretariat are as follows:
SASPEN Network Secretariat
c/o Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Zambia
5583, Great East Road, Kalundu, Lusaka, Zambia
P.O. Box 30554, Lusaka, Zambia

About Us

  • The Southern African Social Protection Experts Network, SASPEN, is a not-for-profit loose alliance of stakeholders, scholars and consultants who engage with social protection in the SADC region.
  • SASPEN was founded in Johannesburg on May 15, 2012 on initiative of the regional working line social compact of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung who has been extending capacity and organisational support in the beginning years of the network.
  • SASPEN promotes social protection in SADC countries and beyond.
  • SASPEN provides platforms for exchange to foster sensitisation and dissemination.
  • SASPEN is a network structure to link social protection experts and institutions with each other.
  • SASPEN conducts workshops, international conferences, seminars, publications, joint research, and dissemination of information.
  • SASPEN aims to be a platform for
    1. sharing of experience and information based on research and in-depth knowledge of social protection issues
    2. constructive debate, discourse, discussion and reflection among experts and with stakeholders and role-players, and
    3. rendering a range of services to support the promotion, development and implementation of social protection in SADC countries, with reference also to strengthening social protection floor initiatives – on a commissioned, requested or self-initiated basis.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee currently consists of following members:

  • Ms Jane Barrett, Director Organization & Representation, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), South Africa
  • Ms Nkateko Chauke, Researcher, Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII), Johannesburg
  • Mr Victor Chikalanga, Principal Social Security Officer, Ministry for Labour and Social Security (MLSS) Zambia
  • Mr Gift Dafuleya, Lecturer, Univesity of Venda, Researcher, Centre for Social Development Africa (CSDA), University of Johannesburg
  • Mr Sérgio Falange, Director, Plataforma da Sociedade Civil Moçambicana para Proteccao Social (PSC-PS), Mozambique
  • Mr David Keendjele, GM Operations, Social Security Commission (SSC), Namibia
  • Dr MAT Nyenti, Senior Researcher, Centre for International Comparative Labour and Social Security Law (CICLASS), University of Johannesburg
  • Prof Marius Olivier, Professor, North-West University (NWU) Potchefstroom and Director, Institute for Social Law and Policy (ISLP)
  • Mr Daniel Kumitz, Regional Programme Manager, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Zambia – SASPEN Coordinator
  • Mr Vince Chipatuka, Programme Manager, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Zambia (FES), Zambia – SASPEN Secretariat

Advisory Council

The SASPEN Advisory Council consists of all Steering Committee members and the following senior network participants and contributors:

  • Dr Henry Chikova, Director Benefits, Schemes Planning and Research, National Social Security Authority (NSSA) Zimbabwe
  • Mr Necodimus Chipfupa, Regional Director, HelpAge International Southern Africa
  • Mr Ngosa Chisupa, Lecturer, University of Lusaka, Zambia and Consultant
  • Dr Stephen Devereux, Director, Centre for Social Protection (CSP) at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex and Professor (Research Chair Food Security), Institute for Social Development (ISD) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC)
  • Mr Helmut Elischer, Country Director, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Zambia
  • Ms Vicki Erenstein ya Toivo, Special Advisor to the Minister of Labour, Employment Creation and Industrial Relations(MLECIR) Namibia
  • Mr Fatadin Fatadin, Social Security Commissioner, Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity & Reform Institutions, Mauritius
  • Ms Isobel Frye, Director, Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII), Johannesburg
  • Mr Taku Fundira, Social Protection and Development Consultant, Harare and Johannesburg
  • Prof Alexander van den Heever, Chair Social Security Systems Administration and Management Studies, Wits School of Governance (WSG), University of the Witwatersrand
  • Prof Evance Kalula, Director, Confucius Institute and Director International Academics Programmes Office (IAPO), both University of Cape Town, former President, International Labour and Employment Relations Association (ILERA)
  • Prof Edwell Kaseke, Head of Social Work Department, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Prof Ngeyi Ruth Kanyongolo, Senior Lecturer, Chancellor College University of Malawi (Lilongwe)
  • Prof Frances Lund, School of Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and Director Social Protection, Women in the Informal Economy: Globalising and Organising (WIEGO)
  • Prof Letlhokwa George Mpedi, Director, Centre for International Comparative Labour and Social Security Law (CICLASS) and Dean Designate, Faculty of Law, University of Johannesburg and Vice-Dean of Faculty of Law
  • Ms Mildred Mushunje, HIV and Gender Specialist, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Zimbabwe and Justice for Children Trust (JCT) Zimbabwe
  • Dr Tavengwa MM Nhongo, Executive Director, Africa Platform for Social Protection (APSP)
  • Mr Chaka Ntsane, Platform for Social Protection Lesotho and Board Member for Southern Africa, Africa Platform for Social Protection (APSP)
  • Prof Dolly Ntseane, Senior Lecturer, University of Botswana Gaborone
  • Prof Leila Patel, Director, Centre for Social Development Africa Centre for Social Development Africa (CSDA), University of Johannesburg
  • Dr Marianne Ulriksen, Senior Researcher, Centre for Social Development Africa (CSDA), University of Johannesburg
  • Ms Mutale Wakunuma, Country Coordinator, Platform for Social Protection (PSP) Zambia

Social Protection

There is no uniform definition of Social Protection. The most relevant definition for the area of SASPEN is laid down in the Code for Social Security of the SADC (2007), in which is defined in Article 1:

In this Code, unless the context indicates otherwise, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated below: 1.1 Social allowances: These are universal payments made to persons in designated categories who are exposed to exceptional need (such as children, older persons, persons with disabilities), designed to assist them in the realisation of their full potential. The objective of social allowances is social compensation. Social allowances are financed from government revenue and are not means-tested. They are paid to all persons falling within the designated categories, regardless of their socio-economic position. 1.2 Social assistance: This is a form of social security which provides assistance in cash or in kind to persons who lack the means to support themselves and their dependants. Social assistance is means-tested and is funded from government revenues. Normally, the beneficiaries are those who are not covered by any other form of social security. The objective of social assistance is to alleviate poverty through, amongst other things, the provision of minimum income support. 1.3 Social insurance: This is a form of social security designed to protect income earners and their families against a reduction or loss of income as a result of exposure to risks. These risks impair one’s capacity to earn income. Social insurance is contributory with contributions being paid by employers, employees, self-employed persons, or other contributors, depending on the nature of the specific scheme. Social insurance is aimed at achieving a reasonable level of income maintenance. 1.4 Social protection: Social protection is broader than social security. It encompasses social security and social services, as well as developmental social welfare. Social protection thus refers to public and private, or to mixed public and private measures designed to protect individuals against life-cycle crises that curtail their capacity to meet their needs. The objective is to enhance human welfare. Conceptually and for purposes of this Code social protection includes all forms of social security. However, social protection goes beyond the social security concept. It also covers social services and developmental social welfare, and is not restricted to protection against income insecurity caused by particular contingencies. Its objective, therefore, is to enhance human welfare. 1.5 Social security: This refers to public and private, or to mixed public and private measures, designed to protect individuals and families against income insecurity caused by contingencies such as unemployment, employment injury, maternity, sickness, invalidity, old age and death. The main objectives of social security are: (a) to maintain income, (b) to provide health care, and (c) to provide benefits to families. Conceptually and for the purposes of this Code, social security includes social insurance, social assistance and social allowances.

Another relevant point of reference is the African Union Social Policy Framework (2008). It lays down that

Social protection encompasses a range of public actions carried out by the state and others that address risk, vulnerability, discrimination and chronic poverty. The right to social security in childhood, old age and at times of disability is expressed in a range of international Human Rights Declarations and treaties. Social security transfers in the form of, for example, pensions, child benefit and disability allowances are considered to be core elements of a comprehensive social protection system.

  • Focus less on the symptoms and more on the causes of poverty by providing the poor with the opportunity to adopt higher risk-return activities and avoiding inefficient and inequitable informal risk-sharing mechanisms.
  • Take account of reality. Among the world population of 6 billion, less than a quarter have access to formal SP programmes, and less than 5 percent can rely on their own assets to successfully manage risk. Meanwhile, eliminating the poverty gap through public transfers is beyond the fiscal capacity of most developing countries.

[…] The interventions falling under a social protection framework include social security measures and furthering income security; and also the pursuit of an integrated policy approach that has a strong developmental focus, such as job creation, equitable and accessible health and other services, social welfare, quality education and so on. AU Member States have noted that social protection has multiple beneficial impacts on national economies, and is essential to build human capital, break the intergenerational poverty cycle and reduce the growing inequalities that constrain Africa’s economic and social development. Member States are encouraged to choose the coverage extension strategy and combination of tools most appropriate to their circumstances.  There is an emerging consensus that a minimum package of essential social protection should cover: essential health care, and benefits for children, informal workers, the unemployed, older persons and persons with disabilities. This minimum package provides the platform for broadening and extending social protection as more fiscal space is created. A minimum package can have a significant impact on poverty alleviation, improvement of living standards, reduction of inequalities and promotion of economic growth and has been shown to be affordable, even in low-income countries, within existing resources, if properly managed.

SASPEN Terms of Reference

1. Introduction

The Southern African Social Protection Experts Network, SASPEN, is a not-for-profit loose alliance of stakeholders, scholars and consultants who engage with social protection in the SADC region. It promotes the fostering, expansion and improvement of social protection in SADC countries and engages in dissemination and sensitisation by providing platforms for exchange regarding social protection programmes, frameworks, research and consultancies and by creating network structures to link participants with each other and to relevant institutions. Activities of the network may include country workshops, international conferences, seminars, publications, joint research, dissemination of information.

2. Objectives

The network aims to provide a basis for (i) sharing of experience and information based on research and in-depth knowledge of social protection issues, (ii) constructive debate, discourse, discussion and reflection among experts and with stakeholders and role-players, and (iii) rendering a range of services to support the promotion, development and implementation of social protection in SADC countries, with reference also to strengthening social protection floor initiatives – on a commissioned, requested or self-initiated basis. The exchange and interaction within the network is guided by the principles of independence of individual participants, collaboration in network activities, professionalism and objectivity.

3. Modes of Involvement

The network is not membership-based. There are two modes of possible involvement by individuals in the network, affiliation and registration. Both modes require participants to create a user account in the web-based network platform www.saspen.org/network. By so doing, participants become affiliates and are subscribed to the network’s emailing list. Those who furthermore express willingness for active participation in network activities by filling out an expert profile qualify for the status of registered network participant. Registered participants make themselves visible to other registered network participants and in turn receive access to their profiles. They may thus also be visible to third party institutions in search of expertise or services. Institutions can be affiliated to the network and advertise their engagement and activities. Participation in the network is free and carries no responsibilities or financial rewards or entitlements. No contractual arrangements involving network participants (or facilitated through platforms provided by the network) will include the network but will be subject to individual parties who may link and/or engage through the network.

4. Administration of the Network

The operational affairs of the network are maintained by a voluntary steering committee. The records of the network, its participants and activities, the database of registered affiliates and the communicative infrastructure of the network are kept and maintained by a Network Secretariat. The work of the Steering Committee and of the Network Secretariat is supported by external funding. An Advisory Council of senior experts engaged in the network, who have through past activities and contributions demonstrated their commitment to the network voluntarily advises the network, the network affairs and the steering committee. Membership of the Advisory Council is a privilege available through co-option by the steering committee.

Promotional Logo

The network has a set of promotional logos “Proudly part of the SASPEN network”. We encourage any individuals and institutions engaged with the network to display the logo on their websites and include it in publications related to social protection. This is meant to promote the network as exchange and information hub, and to add SASPEN’s own visibility and outreach to your own work. Use of the logo comes at no restrictions as long as it is used in contexts of social protection. We kindly request notification of logo usage, not least so that we can counter-disseminate through the various SASPEN channels. The website logo in 3 variations can be downloaded here (right-click, then “save as”):

Option 1 Option 1 Option 3

The package with all website and print variations (also including gray-scale renderings for b/w print) can be downloaded here (zip, 2mb).

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