Working paper 75
The rise of the social protection agenda in Zambia over the past few years seems in some ways to fit with mainstream accounts of how welfare states are likely to emerge in developing countries, particularly in terms of the links to elections and pro-poor political parties. However, we demonstrate that this (still incipient) policy shift flows more directly from two alternative sources, namely shifting dynamics within Zambia’s political settlement and the promotional efforts of a transnational policy coalition. Adopting a process tracing approach, the paper compares the progress made on social cash transfers and social health insurance in Zambia. We investigate how the interplay of domestic political economy and transnational factors shaped the commitment of government to formulate and deliver the respective policies in the context of competing demands and priorities within the wider distributional regime. Despite some progress made in both policy areas, social protection has not as yet displaced certain interests, ideas and rent-allocation practices that are more deeply embedded within Zambia’s political settlement. However, given that it would be politically dangerous to remove social cash transfers from communities that have become used to receiving them, what matters now is the way in which such transfers become integrated within Zambia’s distributional regime, including whether they simply deepen its clientelist nature or start to form the basis of a new citizenship-based social contract.
Working paper 74
This paper explores and compares the political effects of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the mining sector in Zambia, Ghana and Peru. The paper adopts a political settlements approach to answer the question: How do the CSR practices of mining companies affect local and national political settlements? After setting out the main tenets of the political settlements approach, this is articulated with literature on the politics of natural resource extraction and CSR. The paper then sets the wider context of the international drivers of increased attention to CSR in the extractive sector, before exploring the impact of the CSR practices of mining companies on the political settlement in Ghana, Peru and Zambia at the national and local levels. The final sections offer a comparative discussion of what the findings mean for understanding CSR’s role in inclusive development and natural resource governance. The paper argues that recent increased CSR expenditure does not necessarily translate into development for those living near mining companies, particularly in contexts of exclusionary political settlements, of which all case studies exhibited characteristics. There are a great many institutional and contextual limitations placed on the ability of CSR to deliver development for affected communities. Across the case studies, the opportunities that CSR programmes afford tended to aimed at those with the greatest capacity to disrupt operations, rather than those with the greatest need. In concluding, I argue that, despite some obvious limitations, the political settlements approach can generate new insights through its focus on the politics of development, and, in particular, the politics of stability.
Working paper 73
Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) is among the largest social protection programmes in Africa and has been promoted as a model for the continent. This paper analyses the political drivers of the programme, arguing that elite commitment can be understood in the context of shifts within Ethiopia’s political settlement and the government’s evolving development strategy. Foreign donors provided policy ideas and pushed for reform, but it was not until incentives flowing from the political settlement were favourable that elite commitment was secured. Even then, longstanding ideological commitments shaped the productive focus of the programme, ensuring consistency with the development strategy.
The Transforming Settlements for the Urban Poor (TSUPU) Programme was formed in 2010 as a partnership between Shack/Slum Dwellers International, The National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda, The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Cities Alliance. This partnership programme has been most effective in reducing poverty through enabling the co-production of basic services between the organised poor in slum dweller organisations and municipal governments. Vertical-level coalitions, which join together key actors across transnational, national, municipal and settlement levels, are important in addition to municipal-level partnerships.
The Transforming Settlements for the Urban Poor (TSUPU) Programme sought to align national, municipal and community urban development efforts, and include the poor in planning and decision-making processes. This has helped to bring about improved relationships and attitude change between Ugandan municipal officials and the organised urban poor, creating a more enabling environment for poverty reduction. Mobilisation of the urban poor into organised federations such as municipal development forums has also made governance more inclusive. The investigated projects that have contributed most to poverty reduction are the co-produced water and sanitation projects. It is this relationship and co-production between the local government and organised urban poor that is key to reducing urban poverty in Uganda.
Uganda has one of the highest urban growth rates in the world. An estimated 60 percent of Uganda’s urban population lives in informal settlements with a lack of access to tenure security, decent housing and basic services. This urban poverty has been reduced through the Transforming Settlements of the Urban Poor (TSUPU) programme. TSUPU has transformed relationships between local-level officials and the urban poor through the co-production of services and new participatory governance spaces called Municipal Development Forums. These new partnerships between local governments and the urban poor have been embedded into policy and practice through coalitional working between donor agencies, transnational social movements, government, civil society and the organised urban poor.
ESID’s Kunal Sen and Sabyasachi Kar have just published a new title, The Political Economy of India’s Growth Episodes. Described as an unconventional reading of India’s growth experience since independence, it deals in particular with the political economy and institutional factors that have been neglected in scholarship to date, and presents analytical structure for understanding different categories of state-business relations and their implications for growth.
Read their working papers ‘Democracy versus dictatorship? The political determinants of growth episodes‘ and ‘The Political Economy of Economic Growth in India, 1993-2013‘.
Working paper 72
Rwanda is the country with the highest enrolment in health insurance in Sub-Saharan Africa. Pivotal in setting Rwanda on the path to universal health coverage is the community-based health insurance (CBHI), which covers three-quarters of the population. Despite the importance of the Rwandan case, analyses of the history and politics behind the scheme are largely absent. This article fills this gap by identifying the political drivers behind its development. It engages in process-tracing of the critical policy choices regarding the CBHI: the design of the first pilot, the decision to make enrolment mandatory, the policies to ensure its adequate funding, and the strategy of day-to-day implementation. It argues that the commitment to expanding health coverage is part of the broader efforts of the ruling coalition to foster its legitimacy based on rapid socio-economic development in a context of a dominant political settlement. The paper also argues that CBHI was chosen as a solution to expand access to healthcare over other approaches because it was the policy option that was the most compatible with the ruling coalition core paradigmatic ideas of popular participation, individual and national self-reliance.
Working paper 71
Ethiopia has been piloting and scaling up a community-based health insurance scheme for the informal sector since 2011, alongside preparations for the launch of a social health insurance scheme for the formal sector. This paper examines the political drivers of the adoption and implementation of the scheme, based on key informant interviews with key figures involved in its elaboration. The paper argues that efforts to extend access to healthcare are linked to the ruling coalition’s longstanding focus on delivering tangible socioeconomic progress as a means of building its legitimacy and securing political support. Health insurance, meanwhile, has secured elite commitment, primarily due to the ‘ideational fit’ between this policy idea and core paradigmatic ideas underpinning the ruling coalition.