Formal social protection and informal workers in Kenya and Tanzania: From residual towards universal models?

Nina Torm, Godbertha Kinyondo, Winnie Mitullah, Lone Riisgaard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


This chapter provides an overview of the relevant formal social protection (SP) frameworks in Kenya and Tanzania, focusing on how they relate (or not) to informal workers, including recent advances made in this regard. The chapter also positions the formal SP schemes in relation to the SP literature and shows that both countries are undergoing a gradual shift from the mostly residual towards the more universal end of the SP spectrum, albeit at their own pace. For instance, whilst universal health coverage has become a major policy priority in Tanzania, progress is further ahead in Kenya where a universal health insurance pilot program was carried out in four counties during 2020. As for pensions, newer models range from being fully government funded to relying on informal worker (and employer) contributions, the latter limiting the effectiveness and sustainability of the schemes. Although SP coverage has increased for the general population in both Kenya and Tanzania, when it comes to informal workers, uptake remains limited due to the factors like the cost burden, inadequate benefits, and lack of information on the different SP options.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Protection and Informal Workers in Sub-Saharan Africa: Lived Realities and associational experiences from Tanzania and Kenya
EditorsLone Riisgaard, Winnie V. Mitullah, Nina Torm
Number of pages17
Place of PublicationLondon
Publication date2022
ISBN (Print)9781032003283, 9781032003290
ISBN (Electronic)9781003173694
Publication statusPublished - 2022
SeriesThe Dynamics of Economic Space

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