Knowledge Note

"Learn how social safety nets promote poverty reduction, increase resilience, and expand economic opportunities."

Poverty has been declining in Sub-Saharan Africa, but millions are still poor or vulnerable. To address this ongoing and complex problem, all countries in the region have now deployed social safety net programs as part of their core development plans.

This Overview of the World Bank Group and Agence Française de Développement book, Realizing the Full Potential of Social Safety Nets in Africa, provides evidence that positive impacts on equity, resilience, and opportunity are growing, and it is clear that these programs can be good investments. For the potential of social safety nets to be realized, however, they need to expand with smart technical and design choices. In particular, a series of decisive shifts needs to occur in three specific, critical spheres: namely, political, institutional, and financial spheres. Only then will their full potential and their contribution to the fight against poverty and vulnerability be realized.

This Knowledge Note is an overview of a co-publication by the World Bank Group and the Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency). It was authored by Kathleen Beegle, Aline Coudouel, and Emma Monsalve. To access the full book, please click here.