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Social protection and children in West and Central Africa

This project has been a two year collaboration between ODI and UNICEF WCARO and is the first study of its kind on childhood poverty and vulnerability and social protection in the region.

The region has the lowest child and human development indicators globally so it is especially important as social protection debates become more prominent on the international agenda that we pay particular attention to the West and Central Africa region, and undoubtedly even more pressing in the context of the current global economic downturn.

The study has involved five in-depth country case studies in partnerships with local researchers, spanning a range of post-conflict and fragile state contexts to established democracies, oil rich states to impoverished Sahelian countries:

  • Congo Brazaville
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Ghana
  • Mali
  • Senegal

The study has also produced five thematic studies, on:

  • National social protection systems;
  • Cash transfers;
  • Fiscal space opportunities for social protection;
  • Social health insurance; and
  • Linkages between child protection and social protection systems.

The country specific reports have all been discussed and launched at national stakeholder workshops in the five countries in recent months and have contributed to higher level commitments for increased investment in social protection, including the development of a new pilot cash transfer programme in Senegal.  


Rebecca Holmes, Jessica Espey, Geoff Handley, Paola Pereznieto, Eliana Villar, William Ahaidze, Bethuel Makosso, Carol Watson, Cora Walsh, Armando Barrientos, Abdou Salam Fall, Violet Diallo, Tim Braunholtz- Speight,

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