Sustaining and Scaling up Productive Safety Net Systems in Guinea
A delegation of senior officials from the Government of Guinea participated in learning and knowledge activities in Rwanda, focusing on productive safety net systems. The Government of Guinea is committed to investing in safety nets as a key instrument for reducing poverty, protecting vulnerable populations from shocks and promoting resilience.
The Government of Rwanda has advanced experience mobilizing national resources to invest in national social protection programs. The overall objective of the knowledge exchange was to better understand how Rwanda was able to set up and successfully implement a national safety nets program. The knowledge exchange took place in June 2019. It was designed around four main aspects:
• Governance of social protection through inter-ministerial coordination
• How to promote national dialogue on social protection
• Financial inclusion of poor and vulnerable people
• Community engagement and development.
The Government of Guinea is committed to investing in safety nets as a key instrument for reducing poverty and sharing prosperity. Indeed, overwhelming evidence indicates that safety nets are effective in protecting poor and vulnerable populations from shocks and promoting resilience. In an attempt to carry forward the vision for inclusive growth, the Guinean Prime Minister’s Office launched an initiative to (i) elaborate a national policy for economic and social inclusion; (ii) extend the coverage of safety nets to the bottom 40 percent of the population and (iii) identify financing options for such a system in the long term. The government sought World Bank support to build national institutions and systems to implement this initiative.
Through the knowledge exchange, official from the Government of Guinea sought to gain knowledge on different models of institutional frameworks for social inclusion and develop a shared understanding on the next steps required to move the social safety nets agenda forward.
Rwanda was proposed as a preferred knowledge provider by the Guinean Government officials. Rwanda is well positioned because of its success in designing and progressively scaling up a safety net program which supports the government’s integrated vision for poverty reduction (The Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme). The Government of Rwanda has advanced experience in mobilizing national resources to invest in national social protection programs.
The knowledge exchange was carried out on June 8-14, 2019. A delegation from Guinea visited Rwanda to learn from their experiences setting up a national safety net system. The delegation included representatives from the National Agency for Economic and Social Inclusion (ANIES), the National Agency for Electronic Governance and State IT (ANGEIE), and the Productive Social Safety Nets Project (PFSP). The knowledge exchange was designed around four main aspects:
- Governance of social protection through inter-ministerial coordination
- How to promote national dialogue on social protection
- Financial inclusion of poor and vulnerable people
- Community engagement and development
During the exchange, the Guinean delegation held key meetings and discussions with officials in the Ministry of Local Government and other government agencies. There were presentations on the design and scope of social protection in Rwanda; the policy of decentralization and how it facilitates service delivery of basic social services; the Vision 2020 Umurenge programme and how it integrates health, education, food security and nutrition with the development of social protection and poverty reduction. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Promotion of Gender Equality, Women and Family are the primary ministries responsible for the formulation of the national social protection policy, coordination, mobilization of resources and capacity building. The Guinean delegation also participated in field visits to Rulindo District where they held discussions with local government officials and local communities.
Key lessons learned during the knowledge exchange included:
- The importance of establishing and securing identities through a biometric census. This system of biometric identification made it possible for the Government of Rwanda to secure the identities of beneficiaries and facilitate the proper implementation of the various social benefits
- The role of the social register: The establishment of a social register allows the Government of Rwanda to coordinate and track progress in terms of providing social protection. The social register has simplified the process for households to access safety nets. The delegation emphasized the need for Guinea to accelerate the implementation of the social register in order to better pool efforts, offer additional services to households and have a better impact on improving the living conditions of the poor and vulnerable populations in Guinea
- The importance of effective decentralization and the improved coordination of ministerial departments to support service delivery across the country
- The role of a savings program: In Rwanda, the establishment of a savings program has helped to promote access to financial services which have supported households during natural shocks such as flooding.
Beneficiaries / Participants
- Directrice Générale, ANIES
- Coordonnateur PFSP, Directeur de Projets d’inclusion Economique et Sociale
- Conseiller Spécial du Premier Ministre et Coordonnateur General de l’ANIES
- Conseillère du Premier Ministre
- Directeur General, ANGEIE
- Directeur Général des Institutions Financières à la BCRG
- Économiste Principal, PFSP et ANIES
World Bank Contribution
The World Bank, through the South- South Facility, funded the knowledge exchange activities. Planning and implementation were a collaborative effort led by the World Bank Social Protection Global Practice task team on the ground and supported by the Development Economics (DEC) Vice Presidency unit and the Governance Global Practice.
The rich knowledge gained is expected to support the setting up of a sustainable safety nets system in Guinea. This will include the design of the second-generation productive safety nets operation (Program NAFA, P168777) to be financed by IDA. The delegation included technical staff who will be involved in the management of the operation and high-level officials who are key influencers who will play a lead role in the design and eventual management of policies and programs related to safety nets in Guinea.
The proposed approach is to scale up cash transfers and cash work programs that would be designed to protect the poorest, increase productivity and promote financial inclusion. As such, the knowledge exchange is expected to contribute to boarder goals of promoting resilience, building systems, reducing child malnutrition and poor health, improving productivity and the purchasing power of poor households.
Under the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme, Rwanda has been able to provide unconditional cash transfers to extremely poor households to improve their living conditions and provide them access to basic social services such as health and education. This program has also improved the ability of poor households to save and invest. The program also allows eligible households to participate in public works on infrastructure projects such as earth works, irrigation, road construction and building of classrooms among other public works. Vision 2020 Umurenge contributes to improving other aspect of poverty reduction such as health, food security and nutrition, education the development of community goods.
The Guinean delegation felt better equipped to design productive safety nets interventions. Important lessons were learned from how the Rwandan government leverages its administrative structure across the national, provincial, district and cell levels of government to deliver services and provide access to social safety nets. The administrative structure under the Ministry of Local Government, facilitates access to financial services for the poor, microcredit services and encourages saving through the Ubudehe Credit Plan established in 2010. Individuals and cooperative groups benefit from loans based on the viability of their business or livelihood projects
The knowledge exchange helped to build trust and foster a notion of “team” among the members of the delegation. The delegation comprised officials from ANIES, BCRG and PFSP which are institutions accustomed to competing for resources rather than collaborating. The delegation gained a shared understanding of requisite policies, approaches and financing options to mobilize resources and scale up safety nets using domestic resources.
- The Ministry for Local Development of Rwanda
- The Ministry for the Promotion of Gender Equality, Women and Family
Results Story Author: Twity M. Uzele
Photo credits: Dominic Chavez / World Bank