What about Resilience? New Blog by Luise Steinwachs on SASPEN INSIGHTS

A new blog piece is out on SASPEN INSIGHTS! In What about resilience? Luise Steinwachs probes into the increasingly popular concept of resilience. Does it empower the poor by helping them graduate poverty or burden them by shifting the responsibility for creating better livelihood onto them? “What about resilience? Lately, … ———- Please continue reading

Is targeting ethical? – new blog post by Stephen Devereux on SASPEN INSIGHTS

A new blog piece is out on SASPEN INSIGHTS! In Is targeting ethical? Stephen Devereux argues in favor of redistribution by targeting transfers based on the need principle and giving the poorer more to reduce the gap between poor and affluent, thereby challenging universal income transfers that give lump sums … ———- Please continue reading

Turning citizens into duty-bearers – Marianne S Ulriksen’s new blog on SASPEN INSIGHTS

A new blog piece is out on SASPEN INSIGHTS! In Human Rights Based Approach with a Twist: Turning citizens into duty-bearers Marianne S Ulriksen challenges the common notion of citizens as rights-holders and states as duty-bearers. She argues that this binary view masks the range of contributions that poor citizens … ———- Please continue reading

Is Universal Basic Income Viable? – New blog post on SASPEN INSIGHTS

A new blog piece is out on SASPEN INSIGHTS! In Universal Basic Income in Southern Africa – is it a viable alternative? Taku Fundira compares universal basic income grants in Southern Africa with targeted social cash transfers such as the Social Support Grant in Malawi. He argues that targeting has … ———- Please continue reading

Enter Flexibility in the Social Protection Landscape – New blog on SASPEN INSIGHTS

A new blog piece is out on SASPEN INSIGHTS! In Enter Flexibility: how will it change the social protection landscape? Sophie Plagerson asks about the potentially positive effects of flexible labour markets. Contrary to received wisdom she points out that the flexibility and individualisation of employment observable in the advanced … ———- Please continue reading

Are cash transfers taxing the state? – New Blog on SASPEN INSIGHTS

A new blog piece is out on SASPEN INSIGHTS! In Are cash transfers taxing the state or should the state be taxing transfers? Sophie Plagerson discusses the implications of the separation between tax-payers and grant-recipients prevalent in much of Southern Africa. Asking “How can social policy avoid the perceived and … ———- Please continue reading

“Inequality and the Need for Solidarity” – New Blog on SASPEN INSIGHTS

A new blog piece is out on SASPEN INSIGHTS! In Social change through the lens of inequality: the need for solidarity Taku Fundira highlights the importance of transformative social policies for a reduction in inequality and poverty. He points out that compared to 30 years ago inequality has increased in … ———- Please continue reading

“If you aim for it, you might miss it” – New blog on SASPEN INSIGHTS

A new blog piece is out on SASPEN INSIGHTS! In “If you aim for it, you might miss it”: targeting poverty is not the best way to reduce poverty Sophie Plagerson argues that targeting social protection and cash transfers at the poorest is neither financially necessary, nor fair, nor likely … ———- Please continue reading

Can human rights be delivered progressively? New Blog Post on SASPEN INSIGHTS

A new blog piece is out on SASPEN INSIGHTS! In Does progressive realisation impact on the human rights approach to social protection? Taku Fundira discusses the pros and cons of progressive approaches to social protection coverage. While gradually scaling up from basic coverage for the most vulnerable towards more broad-based … ———- Please continue reading

No to conditionalities, yes to recognizing citizens’ contributions – New Blog on SASPEN INSIGHTS

A new blog piece is out on SASPEN Insights! In No to conditionalities, yes to recognizing citizens’ contributions, Marianne S. Ulriksen calls for acknowledgement of informal workers’ contributions to society. She argues that social protection is often viewed as a service deserved only by those that can offer something in … ———- Please continue reading

Poor, poorest, poorer: Inequality is back! New blog on SASPEN INSIGHTS

A new article has been published in the blog SASPEN Insights! In Poor, poorest, poorer: Inequality is Back!, Sophie Plagerson observes that the English translation of Piketty’s “Capital in the 21st century” has reawoken academic interest on inequality. However, Plagerson argues that this intereset has yet to reach the discussions … ———- Please continue reading

Trade two years added life expectancy for ten years extra working life? New blog entry on SASPEN INSIGHTS

A new SASPEN INSIGHTS Blog is out! In Trade two years added life expectancy for ten years extra working life? Retirement age reforms in Zambia, Anna Wolkenhauer discusses the pros and cons of the proposed retirement age reform in Zambia. She argues that the main point made in favour of … ———- Please continue reading

Public Works Social Protection or Scapegoat? New Blog on SASPEN INSIGHTS

A new SASPEN INSIGHTS Blog is out! In Why public work isn’t social protection, but just a scapegoat, Marianne Ulriksen challenges the prominent trend to combat under- and unemployment through public works schemes. She argues that while public works may be a tool in employment creation, it should not substitute … ———- Please continue reading

Social Protection as Charity or Justice? New blog entry on SASPEN Insights

A new SASPEN INSIGHTS Blog is out! In Charity or Justice?, Sophie Plagerson reminds us of the important difference between understanding social protection either as charity or as justice. The giver-receiver relationship implied is markedly different, and is also still under negotiation in much of Southern Africa. Her discussion also … ———- Please continue reading

Comparing Apples with Oranges – New blog entry on SASPEN INSIGHTS!

A new SASPEN INSIGHTS Blog is out! In ‘Comparing oranges with apples’, Marianne Ulriksen (University of Johannesburg), discusses the World Bank’s 2014 report ‘Poverty and Investing in People: The New Role of Safety Nets in Africa”. She cautions about its data basis and comparisons, for data can only be useful … ———- Please continue reading

Rights-Based Approach to Social Protection – New Blog entry on SASPEN INSIGHTS!

A new SASPEN INSIGHTS blog is out! In Some thoughts on a rights based approach to social protection Taku Fundira of SPII makes a case for a rights-based and universal social protection policy and challenges conditionality of benefits, targeting and stigma as constraints on a human right. Tweet

Couch or Potato? – New blog entry on SASPEN INSIGHTS!

SASPEN INSIGHTS has been recently launched to foster debate within SASPEN. The second blog post came out today! In Couch or potato? Reflections on the ethics of public policy research Sophie Plagerson (University of Johannesburg) critically engages with the ‘couch potato’ rhetoric around unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits have a hard … ———- Please continue reading

New Blog Announced: SASPEN INSIGHTS

SASPEN has announced a new blog: SASPEN INSIGHTS. It will feature commentaries, debate contributions and essays by SASPEN experts on what is happening on the ground, political undercurrents and overarching developments. It does not represent SASPEN or SASPEN’s opinion, but that of the respective authors only. As such, it is … ———- Please continue reading