Social Protection for the elderly as a development strategy: a case study of Kenya's old persons cash transfer programme

Social Protection for the elderly as a development strategy: a case study of Kenya's old persons cash transfer programme

Kenya has made progressive investments in social protection forthe ageing, providing lessons and existing opportunities for similar programmes. In Kenya, there has been a paradigm shift from universal social protection schemes targeted at formal employees to inclusive schemes including both formal and informal sectors, corporations and individuals. Additionally, the Kenya Government priorities mapped out under the Vision 2030 development blue print includes the social pillaramong other initiatives.
 
This paper discusses a cash transfer programme for social protection as a development strategy for the ageing in Kenya using a political economy approach within an environment of increasingly policy institutional support. The paper further proposes a transformative thinking for planning social protection for the elderly by targeting the youth.
 
The main recommendations are that there is need for comprehensive approaches on SP to include; informal sectors’ investment schemes, private sector engagement as seen in emerging social insurance schemes, guaranteeing old age safety in terms of basics and recreational facilities. There is also need to nurture SP efforts amongst younger generations through targeted programs, continued sensitization and support mechanisms and further move from poverty alleviation to transformative social policies, from conventional safety nets to social livelihood transformations.

The paper concludes that Social protection development strategies are contributing to poverty reduction and achievement of MDGs. These strategies should be pegged on national economic performance and further be designed to cushion beneficiaries by inculcating elements of transformative social transfers to address challenges in design and implementation. The design should minimize possible dependency and other undesired outcomes. There is also need for evidence-based policy dialogue and research, continuously collect and collate data on impact of existing programs.