Icon Our WorkAnti-Social Registries: how a database excludes many from social protection

A craze sweeping the social protection world for Social Registries is systematically depriving some of the world’s poorest not only of social protection but also of access to vital services. So argues our latest publication, Anti-Social Registries: How have they become so popular?

Stephen Kidd, Development Pathways’ Senior Social Policy Specialist, says that selecting the beneficiaries of programmes from one database by ranking the poorest to the richest is based on impossible assumptions. He sets out evidence to demolish the claims of advocates of what he refers to as “Anti-Social Registries,” because they often exclude up to a half of all those entitled to social protection programmes.

This extends the negative impacts caused by the exclusion errors of using the Proxy Means Test for social protection cash transfers to essential public services such as health and education, he maintains.

He stresses that Social Registries are not to be confused with Single Registries, which simply bring together information from a range of social protection programmes.

COMMENTS 4

  • Thanks Stephen for that observation! Subjecting a human right to in my view ‘scientific experiment’ is regrettable. Universal pension schemes are more effective in eliminating poverty. Poverty in most countries particularly in Africa is embedded in the core make up of society and one’s poverty status is closely linked to the other. Besides, one is who is presumed to better off is not safe from potential risks and vulnerabilities in the short run. Direct targeting is not only inconclusive in that context but is rather one way of excluding many other people thereby creating other complex inequality challenges .Direct targeting can only be fair if done on a ‘regular basis’ but the cost of doing that let say on a semiannual (or even annual basis) far outweighs the cost of delivering the service its self and even then such a system can’t be said to be responding to social protection as a human right.




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  • Thanks Stephen for that observation!Subjecting a right to in my view ‘scientific experiment is regrettable.Universal pension schemes are more effective in eliminating poverty.Poverty in most countries particularly in Africa is embedded in the core mark up of society and one’s status is closely linked to the other.Besides one presumed better off individual is not safe from potential risks and vulnerabilities in the short run.Direct targeting is not only inconclusive in that context but is rather one of excluding many other people thereby creating another complex inequality challanges .Direct targeting can only be fair if done on a ‘regular basis’ but the cost of doing that let say on a semi annual (or even annual basis) far outweights the cost of delivering the service its self and even then such a system cant be said to be responding to social protection as a human right.




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