Social protection is not always beneficial and popular. A way of predicting whether a programme will have positive impacts and be supported by voters is to identify whether it falls into a ‘charity paradigm’ or a ‘citizenship paradigm,’ argues Senior Social Protection Specialist Stephen Kidd in our new Pathways Perspective.
Those designing social protection schemes who work within a citizenship paradigm build inclusive, lifecycle systems where exclusion is minimised and political support is maximised. Those adhering to a charity paradigm, in contrast, seek to reserve scheme transfers to those they characterise as the ‘extreme poor’, and therefore exclude the majority of a nation’s citizens and even many in the worst poverty, and are politically unpopular.
The paper outlines examples of schemes in the two categories from around the world and considers how the values of their transfers and their impacts on poverty differ. The intervention comes after the IMF last month urged action to tackle inequality, while highlighting the low redistributive impact of transfers in most developing economies.