Community Responsive Social Protection: Monitoring Shifting Vulnerabilities for Women and Children in Zambia
Background paper to the ERD 2010
J. Allister McGregor, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, UK
Paper prepared for the Conference on “Promoting Resilience through Social Protection
in Sub-Saharan Africa”, organised by the European Report of Development in Dakar, Senegal,
28-30 June, 2010.
This paper reports on a new action research initiative launched by UNICEF Zambia to monitor the ongoing repercussions of the global economic crisis of 2008-2009. A programme of action research has been established to monitor the ways in which vulnerabilities to poverty are changing and how they manifest themselves for women and children in particular over the next two years. Reflecting the UNICEF mandate, this action research seeks to involve communities in monitoring shifting vulnerabilities for women and children in order to identify appropriate social protection responses to them. The paper describes the research methodology employed by the monitoring effort and reports on the findings from the first phase of the research in six different communities that have been selected upon the basis of their representativeness with regard to agro-economic zones and livelihoods characteristics. The methodology seeks to develop three categories of data: on livelihoods and wellbeing outcomes; on the structures of vulnerability for women and children; and on the processes of shifting vulnerabilities. It is argued that these three categories of data are required in order to formulate appropriate and socially sustainable social protection responses that are consistent with national provision.