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Assessment-based national dialogue for social protection gains momentum in Mozambique

ILO Maputo team

In December 2014, close to two hundred people—including policy-makers, national and provincial directors for social welfare, civil society representatives, donors and UN agencies--gathered in Mozambique’s capital city, Maputo, for back-to-back workshops to discuss and debate the evaluation of the National Strategy for Basic Social Security 2010-2014 (ENSSB). The workshop series, led by the Minister of Women and Social Affairs Iolanda Cintura, is part of the assessment based national dialogue process for the evaluation and revision of the ENSSB, which is in its final year of implementation.

The ENSSB, approved by the Council of Ministers in 2010, is a multi-sectoral instrument for the coordination and implementation of basic social security. The approval of the ENSSB was an important milestone in the development of the social protection system. It established concrete medium and long-term goals, including increasing the coverage and impact of interventions for poor and vulnerable households, improving the system's efficiency, and harmonizing coordination between the different programs and services. The elaboration of the ENSSB was also an opportunity to highlight the need for increased funding for basic social protection. The ILO established a partnership with the IMF and the Mozambican Civil Society Platform for Social Protection to undertake a joint analysis of the potential fiscal space and to advocate for increased budget allocations for basic social protection.

The implementation of ENSSB resulted in significant advances at the political and programmatic level. At the political level, it raised the visibility of basic social protection, improved coordination, strengthened institutional capacity, broadened political will, thereby increasing the fiscal space available for the sector. Budget allocations to social transfers grew from 0.18% of GDP in 2008 to 0.5% of GDP in 2014, and today 90% of the funding for the programs comes from the state budget. This increase in budget allocations enabled the expansion of coverage from 167,000 households in 2008 to 439,144 in 2014.

The evaluation and revision of the ENSSB is an important moment to take stock of both the advancements and the gaps. Led by the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs, with financial and technical support from ILO and Oxford Policy Management through the UN Joint Program on Social Protection, this process of reflection marks the closing of one era, and the opening of another. Inspired in the Assessment Based National Dialogue methodology, it buildings of earlier participatory designed to engage all stakeholders in towards a Mozambican Social Protection Floor.

The December workshops sought to develop a common framework of analysis of vulnerability, to broaden thinking about the role of basic social security for economic and social development, to discuss the outcome of the evaluation and implications of the recommendations, and to develop proposals of policy options to be costed. The workshops galvanized discussion and momentum around revision more generally, and the evaluation document in particular. Stakeholders are particularly interested in exploring the addition of maternity and early childhood grant to the social cash transfer scheme. In January the findings will be formally presented to the Consultative Council of the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs, after which the process of consultation, debate and advocacy to draft the new strategy will take place.

Picture of the Ice-breaker exercise.
One group, which includes the Minister of Women and Social Affairs, Iolanda Cintura (left), justifies why the bee symbolizes best the social protection system in Mozambique: “From dispersed sources of pollen it produces honey, it is hard working, but it can also sting.”

Photo by Luize Guimaraes.




22.12.2014 - Victoria Giroud-Castiella