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Back | Programme Area: Research-Related Activities

A Model for Social Protection in Africa? Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP)

Date: 11 Jun 2014

For the full audio of this event -including the intervention of the World Bank team from Addis Ababa and the Q&A session, please download the podcast.

Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) was introduced in 2005 to provide support to approximately eight million chronically food insecure people. Ever since, the programme has been promoted as a model of social protection and has already been influential in the design of schemes in other African countries.

Tom Lavers’ seminar will draw on recent research published in the Journal of Modern African Studies to discuss:

• The PSNP and the root causes of poverty and food insecurity.
• The government’s political motivations for pursuing the PSNP.

The presentation will argue that most past research on the PSNP has involved narrow impact evaluations, without setting the programme within its political and socioeconomic context. Drawing on a case study conducted in Tigray, in northern Ethiopia, this research examines the links between the PSNP, the government’s rural development strategy and its policy of state land ownership. In the case study area, the PSNP has been used to constrain urban migration in the interests of social and political stability, with problematic implications for resolving the problem of food insecurity.


Tom Lavers is a Research Fellow at UNRISD. His research focuses on the political economy of social policy and agrarian transformation. His work has previously been published in the Journal of Peasant Studies, the Journal of Modern African Studies and Social Indicators Research.

Accessing this event

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The final access to this event is subject to the capacity of the room. We advise arriving early to ensure a seat.

Remote access

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This event will be video and audio recorded. If you would like to be notified when the video and the podcast are online, please send an email with “Audio/video notification” in the subject line to vaque@unrisd.org

Photo by Rod Waddington via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)


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