Social Protection in Amhara Regional State: Current Situation and Prospects for the Future

Course ID
Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA)
Amdissa Teshome

Social Protection is an important tool for poverty reduction and promoting development. It ensures that the most vulnerable in society get access to social services and provided with the necessary income and material support. Ethiopia has created fertile ground for social protection for its citizens. The right to social protection is enshrined in the Constitution of the FDRE. The Government has signed up to a number of UN Conventions and the AU Social Policy Framework that requires member countries to put in place a favourable policy environment for social protection. The new Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) recognises the need for social protection in order to ensure that all citizens benefit from growth. In addition, there are numerous traditional support mechanisms that care and support for the most vulnerable. Against this background, the paper examines current social protection provisions (both formal and traditional support mechanisms) in Amhara region; discusses some key issues relevant to social protection policy and strategy formulation. These issues include affordability, dependency and the role of traditional support systems. A number of recommendations are put forward. First, a new concept, social protection lens, is proposed through which all development programmes and projects are tested for mainstreaming social protection. Second, the traditional support systems exist but are weakening due to various economic and social shocks. Therefore, it is recommended that the formal social protection system makes use of the vast network of traditional systems in order to enhance outreach. Third, Ethiopia has about 30,000 health extension works and nearly 60,000 development agents to advance the health and agriculture agenda, respectively, but it has no agents to advance the social protection agenda. In the absence of these grassroots agents, it is impossible to monitor effective implementation of social protection programmes. Therefore, it is recommended that the regional government begins the process of training and deploying social workers or social protection officers that can work at grassroots level and fill this gap. Fourth, awareness on social protection at all levels is key to successful implementation of policies, strategies and programmes. More recently, the media have started covering the situation of children, elders and persons with disabilities. This must be encouraged and scaled up. However, it should be handled professionally. Journalists should combine subject matter with effective communication. Finally, citizens’ engagement – social protection is both personal and professional issue. It affects present and future generations. Therefore, Federal and Regional Governments should engage citizen’s to make constructive contribution to the social protection policy process. The bottom up process that MoLSA has started is a good practice to build on

Corporate Author: Getinet Alemu, Demirew Getachew (editors); Ethiopian Economic Association. Bahir Dar Chapter
Publisher: Ethiopia Economics Association (EEA)
ISBN/ISSN: 978-999445417-4
Primary Descriptors: Typology; safety nets
Secondary Descriptor: Traditional support mechanism; social protection lens
Geographic Descriptors: Ethiopia, Ama?ra kelel
Broad Subject heading: Soil protection
Call Number: 330.963 PRO 2011
Serial Key Title: Proceedings of the Second Regional Conference of the Amhara Regional State Economic Development
Publication catagory: Regional Conference
Content type: EEA Publication
Edition: 2nd
Conference Place: Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
Place of publication: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Type of material: Book
Current frequency: Annualy
Thematic area: Regional Conference of the Amhara Regional State Economic Development
Author: Amdissa Teshome and Tafesse Kassa
Chapter conference: Amhara
Conference date: 2010

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