Researching the politics of development



Understanding elite commitment to social protection: Rwanda’s Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme

Working paper 68

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Tom Lavers
This paper examines the political economy of Rwanda’s Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP) and argues that strong government commitment to the VUP has been shaped by the specific characteristics of the political settlement that was established around 2000. For the Rwandan government, the VUP has never been just a social transfer programme, but a key part of the development strategy that aims to promote social stability and the legitimacy of the ruling coalition. While donor social protection ideas have been influential, these are purposefully adapted by government, with a view to meeting its developmental and political goals.