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Safety Nets in Africa: Effective Mechanisms to Reach the Poor and Vulnerable


This book demonstrates with empirical evidence that it is possible to reach the poorest and most vulnerable people with safety net programs, and provides lessons for the effective use of targeting methods to achieve this outcome in the region.

Safety Nets in Africa presents the rationale for targeting safety net programs to households that are chronically food insecure or vulnerable to food insecurity.

Seven case studies (Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, and Senegal) are then presented that document a variety of approaches and experiences in country targeting eff orts, taking into account country needs and existing programs. Each case study covers the extent of poverty and current safety net coverage, available data, targeting indicators chosen, procedures for long-term (and, in some cases, short-term) targeting, ex ante evaluation of targeting mechanisms, and key lessons learned. 

The report discusses future challenges in regarding investments in data, procedures, and methods to improve program targeting. Particular emphasis is placed on the need for countries to invest in targeting methods and procedures to safeguard households against exposure to the negative short-term shocks that are prevalent in African countries.