One of the main activities of SASPEN is the organisation of platforms for exchange on Social Protection in Southern Africa, such as international workshops, national seminars, regional colloquia or international conferences.

SASPEN Conferences:

The 2017 annual SASPEN conference themed ‘Inclusion, Integration and Transformation: Social Protection for Persons with Disabilities in the SADC’ was held at Protea Parktonian in Braamfontein, Johannesburg on May 3-4 2017. Keep a look out for a report on the Conference and other conference materials to be uploaded soon!

Previous SASPEN Conferences:

Comprehensive Social Protection in the SADC: 2016 Annual SASPEN Conference, 18-19 October 2016, Protea Patktonian, Braamfontein, Johannesburg

Social Protection in Tanzania: International Frameworks and National Policies, 16-18 August 2016; SASPEN in cooperation with HelpAge International Tanzania HAI, Policy Research for Development (REPOA), the Tanzania Social Protection Network (TSPN), the Insitute for Finance Management (IFM), the University of Dar-Es-Salaam School of Law (UDSoL) and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

Sustainability of Social Protection in the SADC: Economic Returns, Political Will and Fiscal Space International Conference, 20-21 October 2015, Protea Parktonian, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

Social Protection in Madagascar: International Frameworks and National Policies. International Workshop – 18 – 19 August 2015, Antananarivo. With MPPSPF & FES

Social Indices in the SADC Context: Measuring Inequality – Monitoring Resource Distribution – Promoting Justice. International Expert Workshop, 10-11 June 2015, Lusaka with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

Social Protection for Migrants in the SADC: Prospects, Vulnerability and Benefits across Borders 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

Social Protection in Mozambique: International Frameworks and National Policies, September 1-2, 2014, Maputo, Mozambique with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

Social Protection in Malawi. International Frameworks and National Policies, November 12-14, 2013, Lilongwe, Malawi with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

Social Protection for those Working Informally, September 16-17, 2013, Johannesburg, South Africa with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung

Protecção da Maternidade – Oficina Internacional Tripartite, Maseru, Lesotho, 23-24 de Abril de 2013 (com o  Governo do Lesotho, a OIT, e a Fundação Friedrich Ebert)


The SASPEN Annual International Conference 2017 themed Inclusion, Integration and Transformation: Social Protection for Persons with Disabilities in the SADC took place at Protea Parktonian Hotel in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, on May 3-4, 2017.

The following were the conference sub-themes:

  1. Social Protection Programmes for Persons with Disabilities;
  2. Mainstreaming Disability in Social Protection Policy; and
  3. Occupational Health and Safety, Employment Injury Insurance and Return to Work.

Altogether, 28 podium and 3 poster presentations were made. Overall, 17 countries were represented.

The conference was officially opened by Ms. Charlotte V. McClain-Nhlapo, Global Disability Advisor, The World Bank Group. Three poster presentations opened the discussions up for the keynote speeches that set the scene for the rest of the conference. In total, 3 keynote speeches set the pace for the very interesting presentations and engaged discussions that characterized the event. Keynote addresses were given by:

Mr. Lefhoko Kesamang, Department of Social Affairs, African Union

Professor Marius Olivier, Institute for Social Law and Policy

Ms. Renata Nowak-Garmer, United Nations Development Programme and Regional Service Center Addis Ababa

The Conference was present on social media: Under #saspen2017 participants shared thoughts and comments live on Twitter, as the conference was underway

To access the presentations given during the conference, click on the presenter’s name.

Action Amos, Daniel Mont, Edmos Mtetwa, Gabrielle Kelly, Rachel Kachaje, Jonathan Tumwebaze, Lefhoko Kesamang, Marius Olivier, Mdemu and Mollel, Michelle Chimuka, Muya Mwyia, Overstone Kondowe, Pia Korpinen, Raquel Tebaldi, Renata Nowak, Richard Rori, SASPEN, Tumeliwa Mphepo.


The SASPEN Annual International Conference 2017 themed Inclusion, Integration and Transformation: Social Protection for Persons with Disabilities in the SADC took place at Protea Parktonian Hotel in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, on May 3-4, 2017.

Learn more about the 2017 conference presenters in this Handbook.

To download the full conference programme, click here.


SASPEN2017 CfP: Disability and Social Protection



To read the Call for Abstracts and Concept Note in a pdf, click here (pdf, 404kb)

We cordially invite you to attend the conference. Please register at Conference registration is limited to 150 participants. Registration closes on March 31, SAST 23:59.

The Local Organising Committee has pre-identified a number of conceptual and case study presentations for the conference, and will consider proposals for both research and policy contributions on a rolling basis but no later than March 31. Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words to Contributions are invited as power point presentations, posters or panel discussions, and should be clearly indicated as such. Kindly note that as conference slots fill up, the programme may be finalised even before March 31. For questions and guidance, please do not hesitate to contact


Social Protection is a mortar that not only builds relevant parts of the social policy framework, but works as facilitator for so many other social policies. In this view, social protection can be considered a means to an end. One of the ends is disability inclusion. Persons with disabilities are frequently excluded from participation in society, coupled with high poverty rates, stigmatisation, marginalisation and failed access to social services such as health, education and labour market participation. To make matters worse, poverty is a driving factor for disability prevalence due to lack of prevention such as timely medical treatment. The multi-dimensionality of poverty strikes harsh in situations where disability, rural poverty and other vulnerability factors such as gender, childhood, old age or social stigmatisation come together. The 2017 Annual SASPEN Conference poses the question, what role can social protection play to facilitate and deliver disability inclusion, integration and overall transformation of socio-economic, cultural and political structures that compound disability marginalisation. ———- Please continue reading

#SASPEN2016: Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030 – Comprehensive Social Protection in the SADC – International Conference

Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030: Comprehensive Social Protection in the SADC
FES & SASPEN International Conference, 18-19 October 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa


Click here for the conference programme.

The SASPEN Annual conference 2016 was held under the theme “Comprehensive Social Protection” in the SADC, with three sub-themes, which were:

  1. Comprehensive Social Protection Systems;
  2. Comprehensive Social Policies; and
  3. Comprehensive Vulnerability Analysis.

The conference had a total of 34 podium and poster presentations and for the first time the conference had 2 parallel sessions.

Overall, more than 29 countries were represented. We have continued to attract interest even from outside the continent. Participants from Europe and South America formed part of the presentations and discussions.  ———- Please continue reading

ISCI Conference 2017 “Children in a World of Opportunities”

The Planning Committee of the International Society for Child Indicators (ISCI) announces its 6th Conference “Children in a World of Opportunities: Innovations in Research, Policy and Practice” which will convene in Montreal, Canada on June 28-30, 2017.

This conference will bring together researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and child advocates from around the world to share and discuss innovations in research methods and the latest research findings on child indicators as well as implications for policy and practice. You can find out more about the conference and contact the Planning Committee at Updated information on the program, travel and registration will be posted regularly.


Click here to visit the Website of the Event

SASPEN Country Workshop Tanzania

Between the 16th and the 17th of August 2016, SASPEN in cooperation with HelpAge International Tanzania HAI, Policy Research for Development (REPOA), the Tanzania Social Protection Network (TSPN), the Insitute for Finance Management (IFM), the University of Dar-Es-Salaam School of Law (UDSoL) and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Dar-Es-Salaam and Lusaka/Zambia hosted a Social Protection Country Workshop in the United Republic of Tanzania themed “International Frameworks and National Policies”.

Please find the programme and the Concept note of the Workshop if you click here.

Group picture of all participants

Group picture of all participants

Conference Presentations

Mr Daniel Kumitz, FES Zambia & SASPEN Coordinator: Scoping Social Protection: Definitions, Concepts and Policy Frameworks. Introduction into the Workshop POWERPOINT (pdf), click here.

Mr Joseph Mutashubilwa Manager Planning, Social Security Regulatory Authority (SSRA): Challenges Facing Social Protection in Tanzania and Plans for the Future, POWERPOINT (pdf), click here.

Dr Simeon Mesaki, University Dar-Es-Salaam: Social Protection of Persons with Disabilities in Tanzania: Policies, Legislations and Frameworks, POWERPOINT (pdf), click here. 

Ms Jane Barrett, Director Organization & Representation, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO): Social Protection for Informal Workers: International Perspectives, POWERPOINT, click here. 

Ms Vicky Kanyoka, Regional Coordinator (Africa), International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF): Social Protection for Informal Workers in Tanzania, POWERPOINT (pdf), click here.

Prof Evance Kalula, Director Confucius Institute and Director International Academics Programmes Office, University of Cape Town: Zambia on the Way to a Comprehensive Social Protection System, POWERPOINT in two parts (pdf), click here and here.

Ms Zubeda Chande, Institute for Finance Management (IFM): Towards a Transformative Social Protection System in Tanzania: Policy Reflections from South-Asian Countries, POWERPOINT (pdf), click here.

Mr Amadeus Kamagenge, Director Programmes & Research, Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF): The Productive Social Safety Nets (PSSN) Programme, POWERPOINT (pdf), click here.

Dr Flora Myamba, Policy Research for Development REPOA: Food Voucher Baseline Evaluation: The Impact of Cash Transfers on Women’s Empowerment, POWERPOINT (pdf), click here

Ms Vuyokazi Obakhe Futshane, Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII) Johannesburg, SADC BIG Campaign: Social Protection from a Human Rights Perspective. Implications for Policy Makers and Rights Holders, POWERPOINT (pdf), click here.

Mr Salum Rashid Mohammed, Head of Social Protection Unit Zanzibar: Social Pensions in Zanzibar, POWERPOINT (pdf), click here.

Prof Jeremy Seekings, Centre for Social Science Research, University of Cape Town: One Century of Social Pensions in Africa: From South Africa in the 1920s to Zanzibar Today, POWERPOINT (pdf), click here.

Mr Daniel Kumitz, FES Zambia & SASPEN Coordinator: The SASPEN Network – how to engage

Mr Asanterabi Sang’enoi, PMO Assistant Director Policy and Coordination, Prime Minister’s Office: The draft Social Protection Framework for Tanzania, POWERPOINT (pdf), click here. 

Find pictures below ———- Please continue reading

CfP: Comprehensive Social Protection – Annual SASPEN Conference

conference 2016Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030 – Comprehensive Social Protection in the SADC

International Conference

18-19 October 2016

SASPEN (Southern African Social Protection Experts Network) and FES (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung) will be hosting a two day international conference on “Comprehensive Social Protection in the SADC” in Johannesburg, on 18 and 19 October 2016. The conference will be organized around three themes:

  1. Comprehensive Social Protection Systems
  2. Comprehensive Social Policies
  3. Comprehensive Vulnerability Analysis

Download the call for submissions here. Find details for conference registration, abstract submission, possible sponsorship of conference costs and a copy of the call for submissions below. ———- Please continue reading

UNRISD-Seminar: The Graduation Approach to Social Protection

The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) will have an Research-Related Activity on 27 Jun 2016 at the United Nations Office at Geneva:

This UNRISD Seminar will examine whether graduation, in the context of social protection schemes, is a viable way to help people move out of extreme poverty and develop productive, resilient and sustainable livelihoods, thus supporting states in meeting their obligations to rights holders.

click here the view more information at the UNRISD Website

Lusaka Conference: Industrial Relations, Negotations & Collective Bargaining

Labour legislation is one of the biggest issues around the world. In order to tackle its challenges in Zambia, MD INK invites stakeholders who are working labour standards and laws to a conference on the 29th and 30th of June 2016.

While the employer has a fundamental right to run his business, his right has to be adjusted with the employee’s right to social justice. The former pertains to the realm of fundamental rights in our Constitution, the latter to the realm of the Directive Principles. The Ultimate aim is to have peace in industry so that production may increase and the national economy may grow.

Find the whole invitation  here (pdf, 1 MB).

Virtual Meeting: Gender Aspects of Social Protection

A virtual meeting on the 9th of June at 3pm (UTC +0) deals with gender aspects of Social Protection; organized by IPC-IG as part of the South-South experience exchange.

The aim is for social protection policy makers from Africa and Brazil to exchange experiences, best practices, challenges and recommendations on the gender aspects of social protection. The meeting will be conducted in English.

Follow this link to register.

Lusaka SP Colloquium: Social Protection for Informal Workers

On May 12, 2016, SASPEN, the Platform for Social Protection Zambia (PSP), and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Zambia (FES) hosted the

the third 2016 Lusaka Social Protection Colloquium themed “Social Protection for Informal Workers

The Colloquium was officially opened by Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security, Honourable Alfreda Kansembe, MP.

The Colloquium included presentations by
Prof Frances Lund, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO),
Mr Patrick Chabwe, Actuarial Liability Manager National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA),
Ms Marielle Phe Goursat, International Labour Organization (ILO) Lusaka,

and was facilitated by
Mr Lameck Kashiwa, General Secretary of the Alliance for Zambia Informal Economy Associations.

Download the meeting agenda here (pdf, 69 KB).

3rd 2016 Lusaka Social Protection Colloquium

3rd 2016 Lusaka Social Protection Colloquium

Prof Frances Lund, Special Advisor and former Director for Social Protection, Women in Informal Employment: Globalising and Organising (WIEGO) provided the keynote presentation for this evening in which she elaborated the gender dimensions of informal work and social protection, presented the intricacies of providing social protection for informal employment, best practices and lessons from other countries as well as further linkages particularly in the health sector. Download her presentation here (pdf, 518 KB).

Mr Patrick Chabwe, Actuarial Liability Manager of the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) introduced into the NAPSA strategy to extend social security to the informal economy. Download his presentation here (pdf, 465 KB).

Ms Marielle Phe Goursat of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Lusaka presented “Lessons from Research with Zambian Domestic Workers, Small Scale Farmers ans Construction Workers”. Download her presentation here (pdf, 488 KB).

General Secretary Mr Lameck Kashiwa moderated the evening and facilitated the discussions.

A YouTube podcast of the keynote presentation can be watched below. If you’d like to go immediately to the keynote presentation, please see jump to time index 19:35.

The event was also featured on Zambia ZNBC radio:

Find the pictures of the event below: ———- Please continue reading

Zambia Social Protection Week 2016

The Government of the Republic of Zambia is hosting a Social Protection Week 2016 through the Ministries of Community Development & Social Welfare and Labour & Social Security, May 16-20, 2016.

The week comes with a number of public fora (‘open Sessions’) to which the public is invited, such as

  • Tuesday, 9-13, Building a Social Protection System for Zambia: Key priorities and challenges moving forward.
  • Tuesday, 14-17, Health Protection – How to make the new Social Health Insurance scheme work for all
  • Tuesday, 14-17, Students Atelier
  • Wednesday, 9-12:30, High Level Launch of the Social Cash Transfer Programme Evaluation
  • Wednesday, 14-17, Mainstreaming Disability in Social Protection
  • Thursday, 14-17, Open exhibition of key Social Protection programmes implemented by various organizations
  • Friday, 9-12, Extending Social Security to the Informal Economy: What have we learnt? Where do we go?
  • Friday, 9-12, Exploring Synergies: HIV-Sensitive social protection
  • Friday, 9-12, Exploring Synergies: Nutrition-Sensitive social protection

Kindly register for the ‘open sessions’ using this email address:

For more information see the SPW Synopsis of Sessions, the SPW Invitation letter and the full SPW Programme.

UNICEF to Explore Link between SP and Violence Prevention

UNICEF Innocenti and the Know Violence in Childhood Initiative are hosting a round table in Florence, Italy to explore the linkages between social protection and the prevention of violence against children.

The round table will gather 25 experts from around the globe for two days to discuss new research linking social protection to childhood violence outcomes, including young child and adolescent sexual, physical and emotional violence. Some key questions to be discussed include:

  • What is the potential for social protection to affect childhood violence?
  • What rigorous evidence exists on the impact of social protection on childhood violence?
  • Where have the range of social protection programmes actively tried to address childhood violence, and what modifications or strategies have been pursued?
  • What are some of the key research questions and gaps looking forward?

Lusaka Colloquium: Social Protection for Persons with Disabilities

On April 25, 2016, SASPEN, the Platform for Social Protection Zambia (PSP), and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Zambia (FES) hosted the

the second 2016 Lusaka Social Protection Colloquium themed Social Protection for Persons with Disabilities”

Zambia’s Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare , Hon. Emerine Kabanshi, MP,
Ms Catalina Devandas Aguilar, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,
Mr Kennedy Mumba of the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare
Mr Alick Nyirenda of the CBR Zambia Support Programme Livingstone, and
Ms Pia Korpinen of the International Labour Organization (ILO), and
Mr Hamanyanga Miyoba, of the Zambia Institute for Special Education as moderator for the evening.

Download the meeting agenda here (pdf, 70 KB).

Lusaka Social Protection Colloquium 25 April 2016

Lusaka Social Protection Colloquium 25 April 2016

The Hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare, Emerine Kabanshi, MP, gave the opening speech about “The National Policy on Disability”. Download her speech here (pdf, 893 KB).

Ms. Catalina Davandas Aguilar, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in her keynote laid out the current situation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In an overview of her 2015 Report to the UN Assembly she offered high level analytical conclusions and summarized the global situation of the right to social protection of persons with disability on the ground. Download her Report here (pdf, 454 KB). A video podcast of the speech will be forthcoming.

Mr. Kennedy Mumba of the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare, presented the content of the National Policy on Disability. Download his presentation here (pdf, 788 KB).

Mr. Alick Nyirenda of the CRB Zambia Support Programme Livingstone presented a civil society perspective and elaborated how civil society organizations can strengthen the rights of persons with disabilities. He gave an overview of work done at community level to improve mobilization, utilisation, capacity strengthening and community competencies in disability work, as well as mainstreaming disability rights in all sectors. Download his presentation here (pdf, 3 MB).

Ms. Pia Korpinen of the International Labour Organization analyzed the “National Policy on Disability” and the “National Social Protection Policy” which led to the following discussion. Download her presentation here (pdf, 129 KB).

Mr. Hamanyanga Miyoba of the Zambia Institute of Special Education moderated the evening and facilitated the discussion.

Please see more pictures below. ———- Please continue reading

GLU CfP: Conference “Just Transition and the Role of Labour”

The Global Labour University (GLU) has issued a call of papers for the upcoming conference “Just Transition and the Role of Labour: Our Ecological, Social and Economic Future” September 28 to 30, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa

The conference theme addresses global economic and political (dis)order which has had a tremendous impact on the workers’ sphere, their families, communities and the environment throughout the whole world. People and especially workers have to deal with “slummification” of cities, commodification of public goods and public services as well as common goods like land, water and public space. These changes often lead to unemployment, social inequality and informalisation of labour.

Download the Call for Paper, click here (109 KB)

Transfer Project Workshop 2016

From April 6-8, 2016 the Transfer Project organized an international workshop for policy-makers, researchers and UN experts, national governments, research institutions and international organizations to discuss and promote the subject of government cash transfers in Africa and beyond.

The 2016 workshop entered a new frontier for the Transfer Project, with the scope of topics and geographic focus broader than years before. Past events have been dedicated to cash transfer policy, implementation and evaluation; but this year, sessions also covered programme designs that link cash to additional essential social services, known as “social protection plus” or “cash-plus” models.

The Transfer Project provided an opportunity to discuss what has been done and what are the perspectives. Southern Africa was represented by experts from Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Lesotho, who shared experience on lessons learned, difficulties but also positive impacts.

For more information on the workshop click here, for all presentations here.

Call for Papers – Social Protection Symposium Bonn 5-6 Sep

The department of Social Security Studies from the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), GIZ, the German Development Institute (DIE) and the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance are convening an international symposium on:

“Social protection systems – tying the knots” 
on September 5-6, 2016 in Bonn, Germany.

For this purpose, (young) academics, scientists and exerts who have a special interest in (i) designing and reforming social protection systems, (ii) getting an update about best-practice and the latest research findings, and (iii) having an opportunity to network and discuss their own experiences, can submit an abstract on the research themes of variation, system creation and system analysis.

The deadline for submitting is May 31, 2016. For more information please visit or contact

AU Conference: Financing Social Protection in Africa

On April 3, 2016 the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and African Union Commission hosted a meeting “Opportunities and challenges in financing social protection in Africa” in Addis Ababa. Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and international partners such as ILO, UNDP, ECA, UNICEF, EU, World Bank, WHO, FAO discussed the opportunities and challenges of financing social protection in Africa.

The background of the event is the adoption of the AU Social Policy Framework for Africa in 2008 which is part of the Agenda 2063.  The framework recognizes the need that social protection should be state obligation, which is also part of the UN Social Protection Floor to which all members of the AU have subscribed. It also contents the Social Protection Plan for Informal Economy and Rural Workers (SPIREWORK). The plan includes the action to get 90% of the workers and their families, also those who work in the informal sector, covered by the social security system. Nowadays the formal social security system covers at best 15%.

In order to finance social protection, which is part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Heads of State made several suggestions such as:

Ensuring financial deepening and inclusion (e.g. domestic savings and microfinance), using under-utilized fiscal and foreign reserves and strengthening tax structures and capacities to reach to all economic agents having a contributory capacity, increasing the share of social contribution to increased formalization of informal jobs, coverage and administration; carrying out  fiscal reforms; encouraging public private partnerships; and deepening capital markets. It is therefore imperative to curtail illicit financial flows and fight corruption in a way that ensures the efficient and effective use of resources and domestic long-term financing, such as insurance, pension schemes and capital market instruments.

To read the concept note see here (pdf, 437kb). For further information please see here (UNECA) and related also here (ILO).

Workshop on Indigenous Social Security Systems and Government Policies

On March 8-9 2016, The University of Johannesburg hosted an international workshop on Indigenous Social Security Systems and Government Policies: Perspectives from Southern and West Africa. Download the concept note here and the workshop programme here.

Nonetheless, even though there are many scholars, governments and other actors advocating for more social security systems in Africa, there seems to be a dearth of actions that seek to bring into the mainstream Indigenous Social Security Systems. Momentarily, it seems as if the main social security forms that are being envisaged in Africa are the formal and Eurocentric models. Given the foregoing, there are also not many intellectual forays into the area of Indigenous Social Security Systems in Africa and how they can be interlinked with government formal programmes. The work by Devereaux and Getu (2013) begins to cast some light on this issue whereby it seeks, among others things, to analyse the synergy between informal and formal social protection systems, that is, how both systems function and supplement each other in a transparent and successful manner, whilst avoiding duplication of effort, wastage, abuses and misuse of limited resources. However, this work proffers a panoramic view of this issue and does not seem to delve deeper into government policies’ synergies with Indigenous Social Security Systems, especially in the Southern and West African regions as this study intends to do.

All workshop proceedings have been shared with the SASPEN website and are included below.


In the front row, from left to right – Prof. Emmanuel Boon (University of Vrije/Ghana), Prof. Ndangwa Noyoo (University of Johannesburg), Dr. Shahana Rasool (University of Johannesburg), Prof. Edwell Kaseke (University of the Witwatersrand). Back row, from left to right: Mr. Prince Mokoena (University of Johannesburg), Ms. Pearl Hlathswako (University of Johannesburg), Mr. Mzwandile Sobantu (University of Johannesburg), Ms. Boitumelo Seepamore (University of KwaZulu-Natal), Mr. Clement Dlamini (University of Swaziland) and Ms. Lungile Mabundza (University of Swaziland).

———- Please continue reading

7th Citizens Continental Conference in Kigali

In the course of this years African Union summit in Kigali, the 7th Citizens Continental Conference takes place between the 7th and the 9th of July 2016. The 7th Citizens Continental Conference was organized  by the civil society organization Center for Citizens’ Participation on the African Union (CCPAU) and others. This conference turns its attention on the question how a peoples-centered African Union could look like. Especially in the year 2016 which is the year of African Human Rights with particular focus in the rights of women. If interested, you are kindly invited to join the conference and become a member of a growing network of civil society organizations.

Lusaka Colloquium: The Role of Civil Society in Social Protection Policy

On February 24, 2016, SASPEN, the Platform for Social Protection Zambia (PSP), and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Zambia (FES) hosted the

the first 2016 Lusaka Social Protection Colloquium themed “The Role of Civil Society in Social Protection Policy

with presentations by
Zambia’s Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Fackson Shamenda, MP,
Dr. Tavengwa Nhongo, Executive Director of the Africa Platform for Social Protection Nairobi and SASPEN Advisory Council member,
Mr. Uhuru Dempers of the Basic Income Grant Coalition in Namibia, and
Ms. Kufekisa M. Laugery of the Senior Citizens Association Zambia
Mr. Anthony Dumingu, Director Social Security in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

at the Protea Arcades Hotel. Download the meeting agenda here (pdf).

Lusaka Social Protection Colloquium 24-02-2016_1

The Hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security, Fackson Shamenda, MP, gave an opening-speech about “Civil Society’s Role in Democracy in Zambia”.

Mr. Anthony Dumingu, Director Social Security in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, presented the current Social Protection System and Extension in Zambia and its challenges. He continued with possible reform option regarding the pensions and the benefits of the reforms. Download the presentation here (476 KB).

Dr. Tavengwa Nhongo, Executive Director Africa Platform for Social Protection, presented the Keynote of the event, The Role of Civil Society Organizations in the Development and Implementation of Social Protection Policies”. Dr Nhongo is a member of the SASPEN Advisory Council, Executive Director of the Africa Platform for Social Protection and has been engaged with social protection in Africa for decades. He was part of the Livingstone process that led to the African Union Social Policy Framework (adopted in Windhoek in 2008), worked with HelpAge International and today oversees the work of civil society platforms lobbying social protection in more than 30 African countries. In his presentation shared his continental perspective on the benefits of strong civil society engagement with social protection policy making and implementation, presented best practices as well as challenges and made a case for more and equitable inclusion of civil society in the processes. Download the the presentation here (548 KB).

Mr. Uhuru Dempers of the Basic Income Grant Coalition in Namibia presented the current situation of “Social Protection in Namibia – Civil Society Perspective”. He shortly introduced the current Social Protection Regime, what basic Income Grant can provide for lessons and the possibility for roll out, and took a quick view into the future. Download the presentation here (2,12 MB).

Ms. Kufekisa M. Laugery of the Senior Citizens Association Zambia presented the current situation of Civil Society and Social Protection in Zambia.

The Zambian National Broadcasting Company Radio aired a 16.25 minute feature on the event, documented in following audio-clip (15 MB).

Please see the pictures of the event below . ———- Please continue reading

UNU-WIDER Symposium: The Political Economy of Social Protection in Developing Countries

UNU-WIDER organized a 3-day symposium on the Political Economy of Social Protection Systems in Developing Countries in Mexico City from 8-10 February. In attendance were over 40 researchers from the fields of economics and political science to discuss their work related to the political economy of social protection. Among the case studies presented were Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

For an overview of the themes covered in the workshop and the issues discussed, see the symposium programme and a report by one of the panellists here. Workshop presentations have been promised to be published soon in academic journals.



CSocD 54 Side-Event: Quest for Dignity

On February 8, 2016 Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW), the International Association School of Social Work (IASSW AIETS) and the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF) hosted a side event in at the 54th session of the UN Commission for Social Development (CSocD).

The side–event seeks to highlight the role of the Social Protection Floors in implementing existing international human rights law and the newly adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will emphasize the value of universal coverage and access to social protection to promote human dignity and to make sure that “no one is left behind”.

The organizations highlight that Social Protection is the best way to reduce poverty, insecurity and inequality. The event further strengthened the efforts of making Social Protection a reality all over the world. At the event, the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors issued a statement “End poverty in all forms everywhere: implement social protection by 2030”.

Find the flyer of the event here (pdf, 2 MB) and Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors statement here (pdf, 136 KB).

30 years UNU-WIDER: Social Protection Presentation

In a presentation during UNU-Wider‘s 30th Anniversary Conference, Santiago Levy outlined the basics of Social Protection.

Click here (pdf) to read the full presentation or watch the video below. Find other presentations of the conference here. ———- Please continue reading

APSP Annual Delegates Conference Report

The Africa Platform for Social Protection (APSP) has published a comprehensive report of its 2015 Annual Delegates Conference that was held in Rwanda from 22nd-24th October 2015. Please access the report here (pdf, 972kb). The report features presentations on the African Union Agenda 2063, Child-Sensitive Social Protection, Social Protection and Health and Social Health Insurance as well as experiences from a number of countries. One of these was Madagascar, which has adopted a new Social Protection Policy in 2015, which was presented at the conference. SASPEN has also contributed to the policy process in Madagascar with a country workshop in August 2015.

APSP Annual Delegates Conference 2015 in Kigali

The Africa Platform for Social Protection (APSP) has hosted its 2015 Annual Delegates Conference in Kigali, Rwanda on Oct 22-23.

Delegates of a unique organisation inspired one another to make a difference in the lives of the poor and marginalised in Kigali on 22nd and 23rd October 2015. Delegates attending an inspirational conference organised by the Africa Platform for Social Protection (APSP) in collaboration with the Rwanda Civil Society Platform (RCSP), were united in their commitment to engage in ensuring the delivery of social protection across the continent. Forty (40) participants linking twenty two (22) countries across Africa were united in their view that the poor and vulnerable members of society lose most when the state fails to put in place adequate social protection measures for all.

APSP 2015You can read the press release regarding the meeting here (pdf, 188kb). A French version is here (pdf, 173kb).

At the occasion, the APSP newsletter IX covering April to August also came out and can be found here (pdf, 805kb).

RSA Roundtable Social Protection for Informal Workers

roundtable (pdf, 706kb) in the context of the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) of South Africa on October 20, 2015, in Pretoria, discussed social protection for informal workers. As part of the roundtable, SASPEN AC member Stephen Devereux and Ina Conradie presented “Informal Work, Social Protection Gaps, and Policy Options” (pdf, 2mb). The presentation concludes with following questions for discussion:

1. Should contributions by informal workers to social security schemes be mandatory or voluntary?
2. Should informal workers be incorporated into existing social security mechanisms (e.g. domestic, farm, taxi workers) or should special funds be created for specific groups (e.g. performing artists,  footballers)?
3. How can take-up of UIF by domestic workers, farm workers and taxi workers be increased from its currently low levels?
4. Which risks should informal workers be protected against as a priority? (e.g. unemployment, retirement, health shocks, accidents at work.)
5. How can informal workers be supported to achieve financial inclusion – to access private sector providers of insurance and savings products?

Sustainability Conference in IPC-IG Newsletter

The UNDP IPC-IG has covered the SASPEN Conference on Sustainable Development in their newsletter issue 46, October 2015:


Sustainability of Social Protection

The fourth annual Southern Africa Social Protection Experts Network (SASPEN) Conference “Sustainability of Social Protection: Economic Returns, Political Will and Fiscal Space” took place on 20-21 October in Johannesburg, South Africa. The conference sought to address questions such as: how does social protection interact with economic growth? What makes social protection systems sustainable? It brought together national governments, social partners, academics, the private sector, social security institutions, civil society, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), international organisations and development partners.

Rodrigo Orair, Researcher at Brazil’s Ipea and seconded Researcher to the IPC-IG and Mario Gyoeri, IPC-IG Researcher led a Poster Session on Sustainable Cash Transfers. Mr Orair and Mr Gyoeri also delivered Keynote Addresses on “How Brazil has cut its Inequality Through Fiscal Policy: Redistributive Role of Social Protection, Main Trends and Challenges for Fiscal Sustainability” and on south-south learning, introducing

Conference Pictures 2015 Sustainability Conference

Another 132 pictures can be found inside the SASPEN network platform.

Grupo de Canto e Dança Milorho Mozambique

Grupo de Canto e Dança Milorho Mozambique

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2015 Conference “Sustainability of Social Protection”

SASPEN and FES hosted a two day conference on Sustainability of Social Protection in the SADC: Economic Returns, Political Will and Fiscal Space in Johannesburg, on October 20-21, 2015.


125 delegates from 28 countries (including Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA) attended 27 presentations, including eight keynote presentations and case studies from over 8 different SADC and other African countries. ———- Please continue reading

Sustainability Conference Programme

The upcoming fourth annual SASPEN Conference themed on “Sustainability of Social Protection: Economic Returns, Political Will and Fiscal Space” on October 20-21 in Johannesburg will be graced by seven keynote addresses by speakers from ILO, FAO PtoP, UNDP IPC-IG, the CSSR at UCT, the Wits School of Governance and the Institute of Social Law and Policy. Kindly peruse the conference programme here (pdf, 240kb).

20 presentations and 7 posters by 30 presenters from fourteen countries promise a significant transnational and comprehensive event over the course of 2 days, including the SASPEN Annual General Meeting in the evening of the 20th. We look forward to seeing you there!

TMO: 9th Poverty and Social Protection Conference 2016

The 9th Poverty and Social Protection Conference of the Tomorrow People Organization takes place on 9-11 March 2016 in Bangkok. .

This conference will focus on issues of poverty and its eradication, social inequality, race relations and policy management and mismanagement with an international perspective. As poverty continues to be an ongoing, often-inhumane problem, this conference aims to provide a comparative perspective in analyzing past/current trends and conditions to better understand the never-ending downward spiral many individuals and families find themselves in.

Find out more about the conference here.

World Social Science Forum 2015

13-16 September the 3rd World Social Science Forum themed “Transforming Global Relations for a Just World” took place in Durban with over 1000 participants from 84 countries and 4 days programme filled with presentations. The WSSF was organized by the International Social Science Council together with the co-hosts – the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa and the Human Sciences Research Council under the patronage of UNESCO. An excerpt from the forum’s final declaration reads:

The Forum also enabled participants to witness local manifestations of inequality in Durban, South Africa as well as the efforts of non-governmental and community based organizations to address injustice and inequality. Participants learned and shared lessons that can be adapted to different settings. Inspired by this experience, we, the participants of the 2015 World Social Science Forum held on the 13-16 of September, 2015 in Durban, South Africa under the theme of “Transforming Global Relations for a Just World,” are concerned with the consequences of injustice and inequality for the quality of life for global populations as well as with the sustainability of global resources.