Social Protection and Informal Workers in Sub-Saharan Africa: Lived Realities and associational experiences from Tanzania and Kenya

Lone Riisgaard (Editor), Winnie Mitullah (Editor), Nina Torm (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportAnthologyResearchpeer-review


Social protection policies and instruments have gained increasing attention amongst donors and developing countries since the late 1980s. The promotion of social protection in Sub Saharan Africa happens in a context where informal labour markets constitute the norm, and where most workers live uncertain livelihoods with very limited access to official social protection. At the same time, informal workers form collective associations as a means of claiming rights to or providing alternative forms of social protection. The last decade has witnessed an expansion of social protection schemes such as cash transfers, health insurance, and pensions in Sub-Saharan Africa, yet it remains largely absent in the growing body of literature on social protection.
This book seeks to fill this gap by focusing on three important sectors of informal work, namely: transport, construction, and micro-trade in Kenya and Tanzania. It explores how the global social protection agenda touches-down in particular informal contexts and how it fits with the actual realities of the informal workers. The authors examine and compare the social protection models conceptualized and implemented ‘from above’ by the public authorities in Tanzania and Kenya with what people actually do. The challenges faced by urban informal workers and their collective associations which seek to address these challenges with social protection mechanisms ‘from below’ are discussed.
The book will be of interest to academics and practitioners in International Development Studies, Political Economy, and African Studies, as well as development practitioners in both bilateral and multilateral donor organisations.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherRoutledge, Francis &Taylor
Number of pages300
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 Mar 2021

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