news Icon10 lessons learnt in 10 years…


This collaborative blog, was written to celebrate Development Pathways' 10th anniversary. It combines the shared lessons learnt from some of our team members.



The social contract and the role of universal social security in building trust in government

A strong social contract is a precious resource in any country. Without it, citizens will be reluctant to pay their taxes resulting in governments being unable to collect the revenues they need to offer good quality public services to their citizens.


How has COVID-19 impacted Sri Lanka, and how could emergency, universal lifecycle transfers help?

Development Pathways has been supporting UNICEF Sri Lanka to assess the coverage and effectiveness of existing social protection measures. This analysis serves as a basis for an ex-ante assessment of new policy proposals.


Children on the frontline of the COVID and climate crisis: The urgent need to protect children from poverty with universal child benefits

By Yolande Wright We have many long-acknowledged duties to our children – to provide them with the best possible start in life and the hope for a bright future. In 2019, the World Bank estimated that nearly 60 per cent of children born today will be, at best, only half...


A line in the sand – how a human rights definition of poverty can push the fight to the next level

By Lucilla Bertolli Philip Alston will be missed in his role as United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty, both for his razor-sharp look at mainstream development policies and for his constant reminders of their shortfalls. During his tenure, Alston effectively bridged the universal human rights framework with social and...


Basic income: a BIG disappointment

By Nicholas Freeland Anyone who has come across any of my earlier blogs probably knows that I have a marginal preference for inclusive life-course approaches to social protection! I have always assumed, therefore, that when eventually the conditions were right for universal basic income, I would be an avid supporter...


Crocodiles and CROCO dials: How the metrics of Coverage, Rate, Ownership, Continuity and Opportunity demonstrate the superiority of life-course social protection

By Nicholas Freeland I have just read a paper[1] on social protection in Africa with which I profoundly disagree. It has a good main title – “Beware of the Crocodile” – but it goes steadily downhill from there. Even the sub-title is misleading: “Quantitative Evidence on How Universal Old Age Grants...


The perils of linking social protection to financial inclusion 

By Sarina Kidd, Development Pathways The purpose of financial inclusion is to incorporate individuals into the formal financial sector, by providing them with affordable financial products and services to meet their needs. Social protection programmes are often considered to be excellent entry points for financial inclusion, especially when recipients are provided with a payment instrument, linked,...


Women’s rights should shape universal social protection as a COVID-19 response

By Roosje Saalbrink, Womankind Worldwide “It is high time for our governments to do away with gender-blind policies that provide women with neither protection, nor equality, nor recognition for their essential contributions to the health and economic welfare of our region.” – SIHA-net  It is striking to me how quickly the narrative changed, from being...


Africa’s rapidly ageing population is in need of social protection, yet it continues to be largely overlooked

Our blogger, Madeleine Cretney, is a Social Policy Officer at Development Pathways.  Africa may currently be the youngest continent in the world, but the growth of its older population this century will outstrip that of any other region. According to a 2019 UN report on population ageing, the continent will see a three-fold increase in the number...