UNICEF WCARO has commissioned the Social Policy Research Institute (SPRI Global) to conduct an analysis on the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of the beneficiary households in the social registers in Mali, Mauritania and Niger. Moreover, the research aims to understand to what extent the registers comprehensively include vulnerable population groups, including children (0-17 years old) and women.
The Sahel countries are often exposed to recurrent climatic shocks, such as floods, droughts, bush fires, locust and parasitic attacks, which results in a decrease of available natural resources and high food insecurity amongst others. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic is very likely to have long-term repercussions on the survival and well-being of populations and children in particular.
Mali, Niger and Mauritania, although at different levels of operationalization, have each opted for a single social register (RSU). An RSU is an information system that contributes to the awareness, admission, enrollment and identification of potential beneficiaries for one or more programs. It can take different forms. For instance, in Mauritania, data is gathered by one agency albeit used by many others whilst in Mali and Niger, users feed data they gathered constituting one data base. Independently of how it is built, the RSU constitutes an essential targeting tool in a social protection system by pre-identifying the poor and vulnerable populations according to certain socio-economic and geographical characteristics. In addition, social registers facilitate the coordination between key social protection actors.
The projects combines quantitative and qualitative methodologies to identify the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of the beneficiaries in order strengthen the strategies and targeting criteria of social protection programs in the three countries, achieving better inclusion of vulnerable groups on the basis of extensive registers.