Stephen Kidd

Senior Social Policy Specialist & CEO

Stephen Kidd has for over three decades supported robust strategies and effective delivery in social development and social protection in Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Latin America. Our CEO led DFID’s social protection work, policy at HelpAge International, and a development programme in Paraguay. He proudly hails from Newcastle.

Stephen Kidd's Work

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Exploring the Evidence, Background Research Papers for Preparing the National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) of Bangladesh

In this paper Stephen Kidd contributed chapter’s 7 & 8. 7. Building a Social Protection System to Address the Demographic Challenges Faced by Bangladesh. 8. International Best Practice in Social...

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Scoping and Sector Review of Social Protection in Somaliland

This Scoping Study and Sector Review is a strategic analysis of the existing policy landscape in Somaliland in order to inform the development of a Social Protection system.

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What has the Covid-19 crisis taught us about social protection?

In our latest Pathways Perspective, Stephen Kidd and Daisy Sibun reflect on some of the key lessons we have learnt about social protection in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

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The effectiveness of the graduation approach: what does the evidence tell us?

Stephen Kidd and Diloá Athias critically assess what the evidence tells us about the effectiveness of the Graduation approach.

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Financing social protection
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How to Finance Inclusive Social Protection

A guide to financing social protection developed by UNESCAP to support policymakers and practitioners in Asia and the Pacific in their efforts to strengthen social protection. Development Pathways contributed to...

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Investing in the future: A universal benefit for Sri Lanka’s children

The aim of this paper is to demonstrate how a universal child benefit can help children in Sri Lanka reach their full potential.

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Emergency Universal Child Benefits: Addressing the Social and Economic Consequences of the COVID-19 Crisis in South Asia

This paper, written in partnership with UNICEF’s Regional Office for South Asia, makes the case for South Asian countries to implement emergency Universal Child Benefits (UCB) during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Hit and Miss: An assessment of targeting effectiveness in social protection – Summary version with updated analysis

One of the most highly charged debates in social protection is how best to undertake targeting: while some social protection practitioners are passionate advocates of income testing (or poverty targeting), others highlight the many advantages of universal selection. However, as with any debate, it is best to first look at the evidence.

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Social Protection and Disability in Zambia

The report presents findings from a short study in Zambia to examine its social protection system and programmes and identifies the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in accessing them.

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Potential impacts of social pensions in Viet Nam

A report, commissioned by the International Labour Organization, that focuses on Viet Nam's social pensions and examines two options for expanding it to achieve universal coverage.

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Tackling the COVID-19 economic crisis in Sri Lanka: Providing universal, lifecycle social protection transfers to protect lives and bolster economic recovery

This summary paper, written in partnership with United Nations Sri Lanka, summarises findings from a series of Policy Briefs that aim to provide evidence to support the Government of Sri Lanka in its social protection response to the economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Building a National Social Protection System Fit for Uzbekistan’s Children and Youth

This paper examines the challenges faced by the population of Uzbekistan, in particular those faced by its children and young people, and aims to assess the effectiveness of the current social protection system in addressing these challenges.

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Evaluating the economic fallout of COVID-19 and applicability of child-sensitive social protection mechanisms in Sri Lanka

Over the course of April to May, Development Pathways has been working closely with UNICEF to analyse the economic fallout of the coronavirus in child-sensitive social protection in Sri Lanka.

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Kenya Social Protection Sector Review 2017: Main Report

The Kenya Social Protection Sector Review Report, released by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, offers a strategic review of the evolution of Kenya’s social protection sector between 2011 and 2017 and includes many lessons for other countries as they seek to expand their social protection systems.

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Analysis of Refugee Vulnerability in Uganda

The aim of this report was to review the current selection criteria for food assistance in Uganda by presenting an in-depth vulnerability study.

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Social Protection and Disability in Rwanda

This working paper is part of a series of publications that identify good practice in enabling the inclusion of persons with disabilities in social protection systems and programmes. It finds...

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Addressing the COVID-19 economic crisis in Asia through social protection

This paper examines social security responses that Asian countries have already implemented in response to COVID-19 and proposes a range of more effective complementary or alternative approaches.

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Building A Better Future A child-sensitive social protection system for Uzbekistan

The proposals set out in this paper aim to re-design the national system of child benefits. If implemented, the reforms could become an important means of building a more prosperous and inclusive Uzbekistan.

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Addressing the Economic Impacts of the COVID-19 Crisis in South Asia through Universal Lifecycle Transfers

This paper was prepared for UNICEF to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and to stimulate discussion on how to fund an effective fiscal response COVID-19 in South Asia.

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Building Inclusive Social Protection Systems for Persons with Disabilities
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Leaving No-one Behind: Building Inclusive Social Protection Systems for Persons with Disabilities

This report examines how to make social protection systems and schemes more inclusive of persons with disabilities. Social protection can play a key role in empowering persons with disabilities by...

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Hit and Miss: An assessment of targeting effectiveness in social protection with additional analysis

This paper (now updated with additional analysis as of June 2020) is the result of a global review of the effectiveness of different methods of selecting social protection recipients, both...

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Black Lives Matter – in social protection and international development

Our blogger, Stephen Kidd, is a Senior Social Policy Specialist at Development Pathways.  The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has highlighted the systemic racism that is deeply embedded within the attitudes and institutions of rich nations. While the immediate focus has been on police brutality, institutional discrimination permeates both public...

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Why We Need Social Protection
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Why We Need Social Protection

This e-learning guide, developed by UNESCAP with Development Pathways, raises awareness of the role social protection systems can play in tackling poverty.

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How to Design Inclusive Social Protection Systems
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How to Design Inclusive Social Protection Systems

The policy guide sets out a step-by-step process of extending coverage in order to realise the right to social security for all, citing a number of examples including Nepal, a low-income nation that introduced an old age pension for everyone aged 75 years and over and a scheme for widows aged 60 years.

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How to Implement Inclusive Social Protection Schemes
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How to Implement Inclusive Social Protection Schemes

The practical guidance How to Implement Inclusive Social Protection Schemes outlines the need for effective operational delivery to ensure the right amount of money is paid to the right person at...

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Social protection and Disability in South Africa
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Social Protection and Disability in South Africa

This working paper launches a new series of publications that identify good practice in enabling the inclusion of persons with disabilities in social protection systems and programmes. It finds that...

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Pro-Poor or Anti-Poor
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Pro-Poor or Anti-Poor?

Stephen Kidd considers the growing role of the World Bank and IMF in shaping national social protection policies as questions are being asked about their approach to the issue.

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Transfer Values Kenya
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Transfer Values in Kenya’s National Social Security System

This report seeks to examine the current transfer values of Kenya’s tax-financed social security schemes and assess whether they are set at an appropriate level.

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The World Bank’s new White Paper falls short on its objective of ‘protecting all’

The World Bank recently issued a White Paper on rethinking social protection systems to extend coverage. While at first glance this is an honourable goal, the proposals in Protecting All: Risk-Sharing for a Diverse and Diversifying World of Work would do little to achieve this aim. The paper proposes a rollback of...

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Are you designing social protection schemes from a charity or a citizenship paradigm?

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...

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Exploring how to bridge the gap between social protection, technology, responsible financial inclusion and regulation at our event in Nairobi, Kenya

The event focused on how stakeholders can, and should, aim to ensure that social protection schemes and programmes are not only inclusive but delivered responsibly.

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Social pensions and their contribution to economic growth

A Ugandan Ministry of Gender, Labour & Social Development and the Expanding Social Protection programme report reviews evidence on how social pensions help expand local economies. It says that a number...

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We’re hosting an event in Kenya

Development Pathways will be hosting an event in Nairobi, Kenya that will explore the nexus between inclusive social protection, technologies and financial inclusion. With leading experts in the field, Dr Stephen Kidd, Dr Milkah Chebii, Richard Chirchir and Sarah Langhan speaking at the event.

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Anti-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...

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Debating Graduation
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The effectiveness of the Graduation Approach: What does the evidence tell us?

In a special edition of the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth’s Policy in Focus, the graduation approach to poverty reduction is explored by a number of contributors. The paper...

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Exclusion by Design: An assessment of the effectiveness of the proxy means test poverty-targeting mechanism
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Exclusion by Design: the effectiveness of the Proxy Means Test

In recent years, the proxy means test (PMT) has become the predominant targeting mechanism for social assistance schemes in developing countries. It has many powerful advocates and claims that it...

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Stephen Kidd speaks at Bangladesh Social Security Conference held in Dhaka City

Stephen Kidd delivered two presentation in a two-day Social Security Conference in Dhaka City, Bangladesh this week.

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Social Protection for Informal Workers
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Social Protection for Informal Workers in Asia

A book addressing gaps in social protection for informal workers in Asia that discusses  issues  that need to be addressed, including financing,  design,  governance,  and  political economy. Chapter 7 by...

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Social Assistance in Vietnam: Review and Proposals for Reform
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Social Assistance in Vietnam: Review and Proposals for Reform

In recent decades, Vietnam’s social protection system has grown, but remains imbalanced, with most benefits continuing to reach the better-off, rather than the majority of the population. Social Assistance in...

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To condition or not to condition: what is the evidence?

‘The World Bank do not like having conditions imposed on them: so why impose them on others?’ In the first of our Pathways Perspectives of the year, we look at...

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The Effectiveness of Targeting: Options for Uganda
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The Effectiveness of Targeting: Options for Uganda

This paper attempts to clarify the concept of targeting within the context of Uganda and discuss the most effective means of ensuring that ‘the poor’ and vulnerable are included in...

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Uganda's Senior Citizens' Grant: A success story from the heart of Africa
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Uganda’s Senior Citizens’ Grant: A success story from the heart of Africa

In this paper Development Pathways’ Stephen Kidd discusses the success of Uganda’s Senior Citizens’ Grant (SCG), with evidence from the evaluation of the programme. The SCG, a Government of Uganda...

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Inclusive lifecycle social security: An option for Uganda?
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Inclusive lifecycle social security: An option for Uganda?

Inclusive lifecycle social security: an option for Uganda? considers the feasibility and likely effects of introducing a comprehensive social protection system in the low-income country. The report, available for download below, for...

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The Political Economy of ‘Targeting’ of Social Security Schemes

Don’t target ‘the poor’ if you really want to help ‘the poor’  In this edition of our Pathways Perspectives, Stephen Kidd examines the evidence on the political economy of ‘targeting’. By...

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Child wellbeing and social security in Georgia
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Child wellbeing and social security in Georgia: the case for moving to a more inclusive national social security system

This UNICEF paper examines a range of options for increasing the impacts of the national social security system on children. It suggests that if Georgia is considering extending the Child...

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Materials on development financing
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The design and management of cash transfer programmes: an overview

Social protection programmes are increasingly recognised as an important tool for tackling poverty and inequality in developing countries, with many implementing large-scale cash transfer programmes aiming to offer comprehensive access...

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Child-Sensitive Social Protection in Fiji: Assessment of the Care and Protection Allowance

UNICEF and Fiji’s Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation commissioned Development Pathways to carry out the assessment of the Care and Protection Allowance, a national scheme that provides monthly cash transfers and food vouchers to children in vulnerable and low-income families.

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Establishing Comprehensive National Old Age Pension Systems

KfW Development Bank commissioned Stephen Kidd through Development Pathways for this paper which describes and explains the policy options available to developing countries committed to offering universal pension coverage and...

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Social Protection: An Effective and Sustainable Investment in Developing Countries
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Social Protection: An Effective and Sustainable Investment in Developing Countries

A KfW paper details some of the impacts of tax-financed social protection schemes in developing countries and the significant positive benefits that they bring. These range from building human capital to...

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Social Exclusion and Access to Social Protection schemes
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Social Exclusion and Access to Social Protection schemes

Exclusion from social protection remains a significant challenge. This study, based on interviews with researchers and programme implementers in Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda, and a literature review and experience across many countries, explores factors behind this.

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The Misuse of the Term 'Graduation' in Social Policy
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The Misuse of the Term ‘Graduation’ in Social Policy

In our 14th Pathways Perspective, Stephen Kidd, Senior Social Policy Advisor, discusses why the term ‘graduation’ should be eliminated from international development discourse. The term ‘graduation’ conflates the two concepts...

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Rethinking ‘Targeting’ in International Development

Stephen Kidd argues that the debates on targeting are essentially ideological, and we need to rethink the way in which we approach the issue.

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Achieving Education and Health Outcomes in Pacific Islands
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Achieving Education and Health Outcomes in Pacific Island Countries

A research paper examining the challenges facing Pacific Island countries as they strive to improve the health and education of their people. It examines the policies that need to be...

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Poverty, Vulnerability and Social Protection in the Pacific - the Role of Social Transfers
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Poverty, Vulnerability and Social Protection in the Pacific – the Role of Social Transfers

This paper examines the evidence on poverty and vulnerability and its causes in the region, and seeks to understand what role social transfers such as pensions, child grants and disability grants, could play in tackling poverty.

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Bolsa unFAMILIAr

Senior Social Policy Specialists Stephen Kidd and Karishma Huda write about the misconceptions of Brazil’s conditional cash transfer, Bolsa Familia, in the ninth edition of our Pathways Perspectives publications. Our...

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The Zomba conditional cash transfer experiment: An assessment of its methodology

In the 6th edition of our Pathways Perspectives publications, Stephen Kidd and Rebecca Calder examine the results of a study undertaken by the World Bank in an attempt to assess...

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A Case Study of How Not to do Targeting Analysis

Stephen Kidd provides a critique of a recent World Bank paper that provides an excellent example of how not to do targeting analysis. The World Bank paper demonstrates how to...

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Social Safety Net ≠ Safety Net

This Perspective argues that the majority of “social safety nets” do not, in fact, fulfil the minimum criteria of a “safety net:” in effect, they are not available to catch people as they fall into poverty.

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Child Poverty in OECD Countries: Lessons for Developing Countries

Child Poverty in OECD Countries: Lessons for Developing Countries by Stephen Kidd is a think piece examining how developed countries have tackled child poverty, and what this might mean for...

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In recent years, social protection has moved rapidly up the policy agenda in developing countries. Debates on the design of social protection schemes, however, are often dominated by ideological discussions, such as whether to introduce conditions. Less attention is given to implementation challenges and the demands placed on countries’ administrative systems. Management information systems (MISs) are core to the design of social protection schemes. Indeed, social protection schemes could be regarded as systems of information management. The various components of social protection schemes – such as “targeting”,“registration”, “conditions”, “payments”, “grievance systems” and “exit and graduation” – all require information to be captured, transferred, stored and analysed. Yet, little attention is paid to MISs in the social protection literature. This paper, therefore, aims to fill a gap in the literature by examining good practice in the design of MISs for social protection.
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Good practice in the development of management information systems for social protection

In recent years, social protection has moved rapidly up the policy agenda in developing countries. Debates on the design of social protection schemes, however, are often dominated by ideological discussions....

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Assessing Targeting Options for Nepal’s Social Grants – What Does The Evidence Tell Us?
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Assessing Targeting Options for Nepal’s Social Grants – What Does The Evidence Tell Us?

The Government of Nepal and development partners have been working together to develop a stronger evidence base to inform thinking about social protection policy and support the implementation and scale...

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Equal pensions, equal rights?
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Equal pensions, equal rights: achieving universal pension coverage for older women and men in developing countries

In most countries, state pensions are financed from pay-roll taxes. However, such pensions have a strong male bias, with more men than women accessing them while also receiving higher benefits....

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