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Development Pathways social protection training course a great success









Earlier this month, Development Pathways launched a brand-new training course, ‘Inclusive Social Protection: Making the Case’, in Naivasha, Kenya.

This exciting and comprehensive course was entirely organised and facilitated by Development Pathways, with modules led by our very own social protection specialists and other global experts. It sought to provide participants with an in-depth understanding of social protection so that they are able to effectively make the case for increased investment in inclusive social protection within their countries and organisations.

Course participants represented 17 countries (Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria, Somalia, Somaliland, South Africa, Uganda, United Kingdom and Zambia), and several regional representations, as well as different development agencies and Government institutions.

The course took place over five days and comprised of a mix of three days of core modules alongside two days of electives. The core sessions provided an understanding of and a rationale for social protection, covering some of the different paradigms and underpinning some of the debates on social protection, including targeting. The elective modules offered a varied choice of in-depth and thought-provoking topics from: the history of social protection to public works programmes; monitoring and evaluating social protection systems to building a disability-inclusive social protection system; and shock responsive social protection to universal child benefits.

Each module highlighted the importance of a strong commitment to evidence and social justice and challenged the myths and negative narratives surrounding social protection that make convincing policymakers to invest especially difficult. Some of the most pervasive myths that were BUSTED throughout the week include the belief that the poor and non-poor are clear and obvious categories in the population, that social protection should only be for the poor, and that  investing in inclusive social protection is not affordable in some countries.

The sessions took a hands-on, interactive approach to learning in which participants were encouraged to share and apply their unique perspectives and ideas on social protection from their countries and organisations. They included specially designed group activities and games which tackled some complex questions and controversial paradigms, such as community targeting. One exercise saw participants try to identify who was the ‘poorest’ in their group, in an attempt to challenge the idea that ‘the community knows best who the poorest are’.

~ “Really interesting exercise. We struggled to identify who is the poorest in our group. Uncomfortable to tell everyone our income or reveal hidden disabilities, very hard to quantify resources/capabilities.” @makdagetachew on twitter. ~

The sessions led up to a final activity in which participants worked on building and defending inclusive social protection systems in country simulations. We heard some strong evidence and impressive arguments from participants on why investing in inclusive social protection is a must!

 In between sessions, the participants and trainers were able to relax in the beautiful venue that was Enashepai Resort & Spa, and explore the splendour of the shores of Lake Naivasha – some even taking the early-morning boat ride to visit the resident hippos!

The training course has since received overwhelmingly positive feedback from this cohort’s participants, some of who shared that they had both “learned and unlearned a great deal” having had their long-held views on poverty challenged.   The course has been commended for its effectiveness in providing a detailed, insightful and engaging cross-sector learning experience, with one participant even labelling it “a mini postgraduate course in social protection”.

Are you interested in attending a training to better make the case for inclusive social protection? Wanting to share 5 days with renown social protection experts and participants from around the world? And maybe, also pay the Hippos a visit?

Watch this space, because Development Pathways will be launching the date for the 2020 Course shortly!

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