blog iconSocial Security and the Growth of the Precariat

Guy Standing makes a lot of sense in a recent article he wrote for The Guardian. He argues that successive British governments have created a precariat, a growing sector of the population with minimal job security and inadequate access to social benefits. A growing commitment by government to means-test social security benefits...

blog iconAffordable social security: the case of Uzbekistan

It is an article of faith among neoliberals that developing countries can afford to invest very little in social security. For example, in its Social Protection Strategy for Africa, the World Bank questions the fiscal affordability of universal pensions of southern Africa despite their relatively small budgets of between 0.5%...

blog iconMPs in Uganda make case for universal social protection programme

When discussing the social protection governance in developing countries, we usually focus on the Executive Branch institutions and their role in policy development – as well as the design, implementation and monitoring of schemes – but pay little attention to the role of Parliaments. Nonetheless, as part of their key...

blog iconUniversal social protection: the ILO attempt, once more, to persuade the World Bank to commit to inclusivity and the right to social security for all

On Wednesday 21st September 2016, we heard the apparently joyous news that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and World Bank had launched the Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection which “aims to make pensions, maternity, disability and child benefits, among others, available to all persons.” Does this send hope to...

blog iconWhat is the Future of Bolsa Família?

Bolsa Família is often promoted as a model of good practice for social protection programmes in the developing world. As a Brazilian, in the short period of time that I’ve worked on international social protection, I’ve been surprised by how famous Bolsa Família is around the world and how it...

blog iconWhy India is right to consider a universal basic income

The concept of a universal basic income is, somewhat surprisingly, receiving renewed attention from the Indian government. In recent interviews, the government’s Chief Economic Advisor, Dr. Arvind Subramanian, has called it an idea that ‘has a lot of promise.’ According to Dr. Subramanian, the next Economic Survey – an important...

blog iconPoxy Means Testing

PMT is a curse! Sisters, you all know that: inescapable, debilitating, emotionally draining, a regular cause of extreme irritability! But I refer here not to Pre-Menstrual Tension, but rather to a new form of PMT that is sweeping the globe: Proxy Means Testing. This variant of Proxy Means Testing, PMT,...

blog iconPoxy Means Testing: it’s Official!

(“A prox on both your houses”)[i] The World Bank has recently – and some would say belatedly – undertaken a critical review of the Proxy Means Test (PMT)[ii], the approach to targeting that it has been advocating, uncritically, for the past decade. The results are astonishing. Disguised beneath a splendidly...

Publication IconSafety Net ≠ Social Assistance

The first in our Pathways Perspectives publication series Safety Net ≠ Social Assistance is a reaction by Nicholas Freeland to what he perceives is a misuse of the term ‘social...

blog iconRationing, not targeting

“Will no-one rid me of this troublesome PMT?” [i] Anyone who has worked in social protection knows that the thorniest issue of all is that of “targeting”. The recent polemics on these pages about the inadequacy of the Proxy Means Test (PMT) as a “targeting” mechanism (including my last blog post: Poxy...