Researchers from the IPC-IG went on a mission to Burundi

Photos by Anaϊs Vibranovski and João Pedro Dytz

Anaϊs Vibranovski and João Pedro Dytz, researchers at the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG), recently travelled to Burundi on a mission to gather information for the project “Evaluation and Updating of Burundi's National Social Protection Policy and Strategy”, in parnetship with Permanent Executive Secretariat of the National Social Protection Commission from Borundi (SEP/CNPS), Project Merankabandi and Project Social Safety Nets.

From 9 to 24 March, the researchers participated in more than 20 meetings with representatives of the Government of Burundi, and national and international stakeholders involved in the project, such as the World Bank, the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and Concern International. The meetings aimed at evaluating the National Social Protection Policy (PNPS) strategy, as well as mapping government and stakeholders’ expectations. All interviews discussed the expansion of social protection coverage; the institutional strengthening of social protection and coordination mechanisms; budgeting and fiscal space; and the inclusion of minority groups, among other issues.

The IPC-IG researchers also participated in a workshop with stakeholders on updating the PNPS.  Participants of the workshop included, besides the international institutions mentioned above, representatives of Burundi’s Ministry of National Solidarity, Social Affairs, Human Rights and Gender; SEP/CNPS; Burundi’s flagship cash transfer programme—Merankabandi; and the Director of the School Feeding Programme of the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research. 

Dytz and Vibranovski also carried out discussions with members of Merankabandi. The programme is funded by the World Bank and provides regular cash transfers to extremely poor and vulnerable households with children in selected areas of Burundi, in addition to strengthening delivery mechanisms for the development of a basic social safety net system. 

According to Dytz, “the mission was good for us to closely monitor the 10-year action plan, analysing what worked and what did not, adapt expectations to local realities, and come up with a more comprehensive plan for the next 10 years.”

Vibranovski added, “after almost two years working remotely to support the Government of Burundi in the social protection field, it was good to finally meet our partners face-to-face and see how much the country has accomplished so far”.