Social Protection and Public Policy
in Botswana
Tebogo B. Seleka
Happy K. Siphambe
Khaufelo R. Lekobane
David Mmopelwa
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Presentation Outline
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Introduction
SP and Wider Development Policy
Poverty and Vulnerability Assessment
Program Effectiveness and Delivery Issues
Graduation, Coordination and Related Issues
Disincentive Effects
Way Forward
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Introduction
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Botswana has experienced impressive GDP growth
since independence.
It is now classified as a middle income economy.
However the country does not do well in terms of other
development indicators:
Unemployment (particularly amongst the youth.
Income poverty is high for a middle income economy.
Income inequality is amongst the highest in the world.
The income redistribution goal has become important.
Social justice objective.
Compassionate, just and caring nation pillar.
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SP and Wider Development Policy
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SP interventions are ‘actions to:
Assist individual, households, and communities to better
manage risk
Provide support to the critical poor (World Bank, 2000).
SP is a system that aims to address vulnerabilities that
put society at the risk of poverty or disasters (Gentilini,
2009).
SP refers: “policies and practices intended to protect
and promote the livelihoods and welfare of people who
have lost out or stand to lose out in the processes of
economic and social change and development,
people whom these processes bypass, or people who
are vulnerable to the effects of disasters and other
shocks” (Marcus and Wilkinson,2002).
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People more vulnerable to poverty include : Disabled
people; Orphans; HIV infected; Elderly; Ethnic
minorities,; IDPs; Households headed by widows
and deserted women; Households Headed by
children (Hoogeveen (2007).
SP programs are part of a broader development policy
and are not in themselves adequate to address poverty
and vulnerability.
Contribution of SP programmes:
Reduce poverty and inequality directly
They contribute to capita accumulation (promoting
investment in education and productive assets)
They are used to manage risk
Allow government to implement beneficial reforms.
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Poverty and Vulnerability Assessment
Social Risk Management Strategies and Arrangements (Examples)
SRM Strategy
SRM Arrangement
Informal
Risk Reduction/
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Less risky production
Prevention
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Migration
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Proper feeding and weaning
practices
Risk Mitigation
Portfolio
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Insurance
Risk Coping
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Market-based
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In-service training
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Financial market
literacy
Multiple jobs
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Investment in human,
physical and real assets.
Investment in social capital
(rituals, reciprocal gift-giving)
Marriage/family
Community arrangements
Share tenancy
Selling of real assets
Borrowing from neighbours
Intra-community
transfers/charity
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Sending children to work
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Dissaving in human capital
Source: Holzmann (2001); Hoogeveen et. al. (2005).
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Public
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Labor standards
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Good macroeconomic
policies
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AIDS and other
disease prevention
Investment in multiple 
financial assets
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Protection of property
rights (especially for
women)
Support for extending
financial markets to
the poor
Disability, accident
and other personal
insurance
Crop, fire insurance
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Mandated/provided
insurance for
unemployment, old
age, disability,
survivorship, sickness.
Selling of financial
assets
Borrowing from
Banks
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Transfers/Social
assistance
Subsidies
Public works
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Vulnerable Groups -Based on Poverty Profiles
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Rural Dwellers
Agricultural Households.
Households with Many Dependents
Households with Low Educational Attainments
Children-Headed Households
Elderly-Headed Households
Orphans.
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Risk Assessment: types of risk
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(i) Natural, (ii) Health, (iii) Lifecycle, (iv) Social, (v)
Economic, (vi) Environmental and (vii) Political risks.
Health Risks – malnutrition, HIV/AIDs,
Natural risks – drought, floods, heavy rainfall, strong
winds, animal and crop diseases.
Economic risks – unemployment, inflation.
Lifecycle risks – disability, old age, death.
Social risks – illiteracy, crime.
Environmental risk – pollution, deforestation, land
degradation
Political risk – political unrest
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Publicly Provided SP instruments
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Risk prevention program
Prevention of Mother to Child Treatment (PMTCT)
Programme
Risk mitigation programs
Drought Monitoring and Response
Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF)
Minimum Wage
Gratuity and Severance
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3.
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Risk coping instruments
Destitute Persons Programme,
Government Pensions Programmes
Supplementary Feeding Programmes
Orphan Care Programme
Community Home Based Care Programme
Remote Area Development Programme
Ipelegeng.
School Fees Exemption
Agricultural support programmes (LIMID/ISPAAD)
ART Programme
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Risk Assessment
Vulnerable Group
Remote/Rural area dwellers
Type of Risk
Unemployment; Illiteracy
Women headed households
Families with many dependents
Widow headed households
Households with low education/skills
Unemployment
Low income
Unemployment; Low income
Malnutrition; HIV/AIDS;
Unemployment; Low wages
Unemployment; Malnutrition; Low
income
Low income
Low income; Lack of assets
Droughts; Animal and Crop diseases;
Floods.
High prices; Low income
Children headed households
Elderly headed households
Orphans
Subsistence agriculture households
Households with paraffin /wood as a
source of fuel for cooking
Infants and children aged below 5 years
Disabled individuals
Street Children
Youth
Malnutrition; HIV/AIDS; Illness;
Mortality
Disability
Malnutrition; Illness; Substance abuse
Unemployment; Substance abuse;
Unplanned pregnancies; HIV/AIDS &
other STIs
Existing Programme
RADP
Ipelegeng
Ipelegeng
Ipelegeng
Ipelegeng
PSFP; School fee exemption; ART;
Supplementary feeding
Orphan care programme
OAP; DPP
Orphan care programme
ISPAAD; LIMID; Early Warning
DPP
PMTCT; VGFP; Immunization
DPP
No SP programme
Ipelegeng; National internship
programme (NIP)
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Program Effectiveness and Delivery Issues
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Program coverage and Targeting
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Coverage and targeting are said to be good for the
orphan care and OAP schemes.
Destitute programme – some needy families in the
villages who are not covered by the programme.
Not all needy students are registered in the programme.
Criteria for enrolment into CHBC exclude some eligible
individuals – based on destitute program guidelines
The RADP reaches most of the eligible individuals.
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Program Delivery Issues
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Delayed and Incomplete Delivery of Benefits (uniform
and private clothing, food packages, cash payments,
psycho-social support, rehabilitation, housing assistance for
the destitute).
Poor Quality Packages/Service (poor service in public
offices, removal of beneficiaries from the list, long queues
at payment points without required facilities – toilets,
provision of cheaper and lower quality products, poor food
preparation at schools).
Abuse, Fraud and other Unfair Practices (abuse of food
coupon by holders and shops, inflation of prices by shops
using coupons including price discrimination practices,
selling food on credit to coupon holders, political
interference by councillors or parliamentarians)
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Poverty impacts of programs
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Traditional coping strategies
Poorer households are more likely to benefit from the
programs.
Social safety nets accounted for a higher proportion of
household income for poorer households.
Programmes reduced the poverty incidence by 10
percentage points (2002/03).
Programmes which better targeted the poor were Clinic
Rations, RADS package, Needy Students, Destitute and
Drought Relief.
OAP, WW II Veterans Pension, Orphan Care, CHBC and
School meals had low targeting ratios for the poor.
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Asset transfer and input subsidy programs
ISPAAD is expected to have reduced food insecurity and
poverty because of increases in output in the
subsistence economy. However crop yields remain low.
Program sustainability is questionable. Tractor owners
stand to gain more than farmers.
Given that LIMID is targeted at resource poor
farmers/individuals and that it has assisted many people,
it should have contributed to poverty reduction.
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Graduation, Coordination and related issues
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Too many implementing public agencies.
Graduation from SP programs to economic program
unclear due to lack of coordination.
Skills Development essential for graduation (eg
Ipelegeng)
Ipelegeng sometimes preferred over other SP programs
(eg leather works),
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Disincentive Effects
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Welfare Dependency argument.
Literature mixed (work disincentives vs
investment
In Botswana evidence of work disincentives
in agriculture found.
Ipelegeng may be preferred due to favorable
wages.
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Way Forward
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Place programs under one roof to improve
coordination.
Consider program synergies to promote
graduation (eg a combination of asset and
cash transfers to help rebuild productive
capacity and sustainability).
Consider cash transfers in place of food
transfers to promote investment and minimize
work disincentive effects.
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Thank You
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