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WP/81 The Demand Side of Social Protection: Lessons from Cambodia’s Labour Rights Experience

Research and Communication on Foreign Aid
In fragile states, social protection programmes are often a kaleidoscope of projects financed and implemented by a variety of donors, government agencies and NGOs. Such an environment does not foster a strong sense of ownership by beneficiaries, which weakens the likelihood of sustainability in the absence of donor interest or government commitment. Loosening demand-side constraints may provide incentive to sustain social progress, but it is unclear what political or social structures can effectively facilitate voice in fragile states. Cambodia’s unusual social protection trajectory offers some insight by presenting an example where labour rights has made substantial progress while all other protections lag. We assess whether the changed external environment might facilitate activism in other areas of social protection. Our analysis suggests that using an island of excellence to build institutions that open political space for activism can be a successful strategy in states where governments are unable or unwilling to provide comprehensive social protection systems.
Publisher:
UNU-WIDER
Series:
WIDER Working Paper
Volume:
2011/81
Title:
WP/81 The Demand Side of Social Protection: Lessons from Cambodia’s Labour Rights Experience
Authors:
Alisa DiCaprio
Publication date:
November 2011
ISBN 13 Print:
978-92-9230-448-5
Copyright holder:
© UNU-WIDER
Copyright year:
2011
Keywords:
fragile states, Asia, social protection, Cambodia, social movements, labour standards
JEL:
J51, J83, J88, K31
Sponsor:
This working paper has been prepared within the UNU-WIDER project ‘Foreign Aid: Research and Communication (ReCom)’, directed by Tony Addison and Finn Tarp. UNU-WIDER gratefully acknowledges specific programme contributions from the governments of Denmark (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Danida) and Sweden (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency—Sida) for the Research and Communication (ReCom) programme. UNU-WIDER also acknowledges core financial support to UNU-WIDER’s work programme from the governments of Finland (Ministry for Foreign Affairs), the United Kingdom (Department for International Development), and the governments of Denmark and Sweden.
Format:
online
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