Our Aims and Objectives

We are the UK association for all those who research, study and teach global development issues

Find Out More

What is Development Studies

What is development studies, why it matters, how you can study and career prospects

Find Out More

Our Members

We have around 1,000 members, made up of individuals and around 40 institutions

Find Out More

Governance

Find out about our constitution and how we are run

Find Out More

People

Meet our Council members and other stuff who support the running of DSA

Find Out More

About

The DSA Conference is an annual event which brings together the development studies community

Find Out More

DSA2021

Our conference this year is themed "Unsettling Development"

Find Out More

Past Conferences

Find out about our previous conferences

Find Out More

Study Groups

Our Study Groups offer a chance to connect with others who share your areas of interest

Find Out More

Students and ECRs

Students and early career researchers are an important part of our community

Find Out More

Publications

Our book series with OUP and our relationship with other publishers

Find Out More

North-South Research

A series of workshops exploring North-South interdisciplinary research with key messages and reports

Find Out More

Membership Directory

Find out who our members are, where they are based and the issues they work on

Find Out More

Critical perspectives on social protection and social policy reforms in developing countries

Jeremy Seekings, University of Cape Town

The panel explored the complex power relations between various actors that influence social policy ideas and praxis in developing countries. It invited critical inquiries that explore the possibility that social policies might reproduce inequalities and poverty, even whilst claiming to address them.

The panel featured eleven papers over four and a half sessions. Unfortunately, a number of scheduled presenters failed to attend. The Shindig technology was brilliant but connectivity was a problem for presenters in (for example) India (during the monsoon or Nigeria (at any time). Nonetheless, we had a series of excellent discussions.

We had three excellent presentations on Africa, by Kate Pruce (on the gendered implementation of social grants in Zambia), Liz Fouksman (on popular assessments of deservingness in South Africa) and Betty Akyeampong (on the implementation of LEAP in Ghana). Two presentations focused on Latin America: Xavier Jara and Maria Gabriella Palacio presented their analysis of the feasibility of a universal income grant in Ecuador and Beatriz Burattini examined aspects of family policy in Brazil. Presentations by Resya Kania and Thelda Pongsilurang focused on poverty reduction in Indonesia. Presentations by Ujjwal Krishna/Chris Roche and Nalini Yadav focused on India. Finally, Michael Odijie/Gbenga Shadare and Nathaniel Umukoro examined social protection in Nigeria.

The absence of some presenters meant that we had more time to discus the papers that were presented, and we used that time well. To my mind, two themes stood out. The first is the importance of examining the view from below in order to understand the implementation of social protection programmes. The second was the importance of critical reflection on the methods we used when analysing policy-making processes.