Professor Rachel Sabates-Wheeler, a Research Fellow from the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, has stated that ‘Social Protection initiatives are not exclusively for the deprived in society but also the vulnerable’. She made this statement at the University of Ghana Business School’s (UGBS) Public Lecture on Tuesday, 29th March, 2017. The lecture, held at the Graduate Building, is part of UGBS’s Seminar Series which engages scholars and practitioners in the sharing of researched knowledge and experiences.
In her opening speech on the topic “Building Resilient Livelihoods for The Poorest through Social Protection: Lessons for Ghana,” Prof. Sabates-Wheeler asserted that the main objective of social protection is to build a strong initiative over a life cycle to tackle poverty and vulnerability. According to her, everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for health and well-being. Therefore, social protection will yield a higher input if it covers the unemployed, aging, the dependent, pregnant women, retired and those exposed to social perils, drought, and epidemics.
Speaking on the Livelihood Employment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme introduced in Ghana in year 2008 to provide bi-monthly cash transfers to the extremely poor households, she stated that graduation pathways for beneficiaries are not yet well developed. She added that graduation requires an enabling environment and linkages to key market and services.
Having outlined rural labour markets, financial services, policy coherence, education, health services and markets for Income Generation Activity (IGA) products as graduation programmes, Prof. Sabates-Wheeler disclosed under coverage and underfunding, high number of needy households not reached, small transfers and limited uptake of the ‘livelihood packages’ and limited time horizon for graduation programmes as challenges for Graduation Models II and I respectively.
In an interview, she urged the government to ‘depoliticise’ Social Protection to curb poverty.
Present at the lecture were Prof. Joshua Yindenaba Abor, Dean UGBS; Prof. Robert Darko Osei, Vice Dean, School of Graduate Studies; Prof. Ellen Botei-Doku Aryeetey and Dr. Abdul-Gafaru, Faculty, some UNICEF representatives and a number of students.
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