I observe the current replicas of social protection policies that is prevalent across low-income nations has a strong prominence on programmes targeted at the poorest members of society, these social policies were emulated not just from pre-War Europe, but of 19th Century Europe [Whiteford 2015, Carol 2017]. This model contributes heavily to the undermining of trust in government. As a result of targeting the poorest members of society, the majority of the population – the so-called ‘missing middle’ – are, by design, excluded from the national social security system while the ‘poor relief’ programmes that are delivered tend to be of poor quality: targeting errors are high while selection is widely perceived by citizens as arbitrary and unfair; transfer values are low, with their real value falling year on year; conditions and sanctions are often used, which undermine dignity and self-respect; recipients are often stigmatized;
and, local elites often use programmes as a means of exercising power and control over recipients. Indeed, the proxy means test – a targeting mechanism that is particularly arbitrary in its selection of recipients – functions as if it were designed with the sole purpose of undermining trust in government. Yet, it continues to be strongly promoted across the Global South, often in the guise of social registries. Additionally, more research needs to be conducted by scholars and academicians to ascertain the existing barriers of public service.
For instance, should organization of persons with disabilities and persons with disabilities change tact in demanding for better social protection policies?
On the other hand, the global trends of usage of social media as a tool for advocacy has continuously showed bureaucratic processes and poor resources are part of the low implementation of social policies.
trust in government is the basic building block of any successful nation-state. It needs to be at the very top of the list of government priorities since, once trust is undermined, the state itself can be threatened. History tells us that a key factor in building trust is the provision of universal public services, since they can be enjoyed by everyone on an equal and impartial basis. And, if trust is to be built quickly, the best means of doing so is through universal social security.
There is a growing evidence in many countries their exist low quality of public services which weaken social contracts and discourage people from paying taxes. In fact, in many countries, the middle class and rich citizens have abandoned state-financed health and education services and opted for private provision. This, naturally, deepens their reluctance to pay the taxes that would fund the public services that they no longer use [Carol 208 UNDP 2018[.
Never the less, Thanks to COVID-19 now the rich and the middle class in many nations are demanding for accountability and transparency by governments since they no longer can afford private services [Andrew 2018 UN 2008[.
Most of the private health and education services have shut down.
Could this be the icebreaker for governments to have a proper social contract with its citizens?
COVID-19 has created a major crisis across all republics and has highlighted the failings of the prevailing social and economic policies in most countries in the Global South. A key question is whether COVID-19 can be the catalyst for the type of paradigm shift in social and economic policy that occurred across Western Europe following the Second World War. If this change in paradigm is to happen, it will need progressive politicians and development partners to come together and move away from the poor relief model that has dominated policy thinking across the Global South. Instead, they need to have an unremitting focus on building the type of universal social security system that transformed the social contract in Europe. Listening to Sweden’s Ministry of Finance could be a good first step [Steve 2020 IDA 20220[. To put matters in to perspective there is a growing catastrophic of the young generation who are demanding for biter public service.
The more low-income nations strive to employ economic politics the more the nations will uplift themselves from poverty.
According to Whiteford 2017 China uplifted its citizens by the way of empowering them and offering inclusive social protection practices.
This so the rise of local industries and opened up the support for its citizens.
Obviously developing nations have had the social protection policies which benefited a few.
Now that COVID-19 has ensured an equalizer where the low class and middle class have been highly affected.
Its prudent for governments to invest in public services and stop enhancement of private ventures.
Additionally, when public services are well resourced citizens will gain trust with the governments and hence increase of tax collections
The disability sausage YouTube channel will dissect the public policies which have not served the populations.
The views expressed here are for the author and do not represent any agency or organization.
Mugambi Paul is a public policy, diversity, inclusion and sustainability expert.
Australian Chief Minister Award winner
“excellence of making inclusion happen”