Participants at the ongoing 5- days workshop organised by African Platform for Social Protection(APSP) on Digital Social Protection holding in Nairobi, Kenya have advocated for a safe affordable and accessible digital social protection for all workers in the world.
Social Protection according to the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development deals with preventing, Managing and overcoming situations that adversely affected people’s well-being.
However, Digital Social protection is accessing the set of policies and programs designed to reduce poverty and vulnerability by promoting efficient labour markets, diminishing people’s exposure to risks, and enhancing their capacity to protect themselves against hazards and interruption/loss of income in the digital space.
The program which began on Monday 20th – 24th November, 2023 is being sponsored by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) brought together Trade Union leaders, Civil Society Organisations as well development partners to look at issues around digitalization of social protection.
The participants who were drawn from the Continent of Africa further identified issues of exclusion/inclusion , accessibility, data protection concerns, long and tedious process of registration , and long waiting process.
They also identified issue of awareness and knowledge, lack of knowledge and availability of infrastructure, high cost of equipment and data and many others.
speaking on a paper titled ” Transformative Social Protection: what is it and how does it link to digital considerations”, Rachel Sabates- Wheeler, a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) , said the essence of Social Protection was to address some objectives that she group into two.
She emphasize that the first objectives are to tackle vulnerability, poverty and exclusion from social protection provision, while the second objectives according to her are to ensure sustainable graduation from poverty, and promote pro- poor and inclusive economic growth.
On how Social Protection can tackle poverty , Ms Rachel said through direct and indirect beneficiaries . She added that the direct beneficiaries includes increase in household income/food/ assets/ consumption, while indirect beneficiaries she said includes income/food/assets shared with or spent on , others .
Speaking on the opportunities of digital innovation, Rachel Sabates- Wheeler disclosed that it is a potential for more effective and efficient design and delivery accountability/transparency for recipients amongst many others.