Expanding Social Protection in The Gambia
Costed Design Considerations for the Family Strengthening Programme
The Gambia is currently at a pivotal point in its developmental trajectory, with a unique opportunity to significantly advance its social protection initiatives. Our latest report delves into the potential expansion of The Gambia’s social protection system, focusing particularly on the Family Strengthening Programme (FSP), a key government-financed initiative.
Social protection in The Gambia has predominantly been facilitated through external Development Partners. However, there’s a growing consensus on the need for a transition towards a government-financed model. This shift is crucial for ensuring the long-term sustainability of these efforts, both economically and politically.
Currently, the FSP, alongside other programs like school feeding and Covid-19 food distribution, plays a vital role in the social protection landscape. Despite its importance, the FSP’s reach remains limited due to inconsistent budget allocations, currently aiding approximately 150 families and 50 individuals each quarter. This report presents a comprehensive analysis and proposes a set of costed scenarios for the potential expansion of the FSP. These scenarios explore various programme designs, including targeting mechanisms, expected coverage, and outputs, and detail the costs associated with transfers, administrative elements, infrastructure, training, and capacity building.
The report is structured to provide a thorough understanding of the current status of the FSP, its operational framework, and its impact on the targeted populations. It also examines the public finance context of The Gambia, including economic growth, revenue, and expenditure trends. Understanding this context is crucial for assessing the feasibility of expanding the FSP.
Furthermore, the report reviews the existing social protection environment, analyzing the poverty and vulnerability context, policy background, current social protection programs, and key performance gaps in the system. This analysis is critical in identifying areas that require attention and improvement.
Key considerations for the expansion of the FSP are discussed, followed by detailed scenarios that consider various targeting criteria, benefit levels, and program delivery regularities. The report concludes with core messages and recommendations, underscoring the need for a complementary study that would provide an investment case for these scenarios, thereby enhancing the evidence base for greater investment into the FSP.
Access the study report.