Politics and Governance of Social Assistance in Crises From the Bottom Up
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This paper reviews existing perspectives on the politics and governance of social assistance in crises from the bottom up – from sub-national regions (or states/provinces) down to districts, sub-districts, towns, and villages. It begins by examining recent literature on the politics of social protection, which is mostly based on assessment of political dynamics and relationships in settings that are peaceful and only minimally affected (or unaffected) by conflict-related violence. Key insights from political economy analysis of humanitarian assistance, alongside the ‘political marketplace’ – a more recent concept used to understand governance in fragile and conflict-affected settings (FCAS) – are introduced to deepen understanding of politics specifically in situations where statehood is both limited and negotiated. The second part of the paper reviews various insights into sub-national and local governance, focusing on the role of non-state actors in provisioning and distribution at the edges of state power, delivery configurations in these settings, and the rationalities of local governance and ‘real implementation’. Understanding the arrangements and dynamics of governance sub-nationally and locally is essential for designing and planning the provision of social assistance in ways that are more likely to be politically and socially acceptable while also being inclusive and delivering value for money. The conclusion draws together these various perspectives on politics and governance from the bottom up to consider the implications and questions for further research on social assistance in crises.
CitationLind, J. (2022) Politics and Governance of Social Assistance in Crises from the Bottom Up, BASIC Research Working Paper 4, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, DOI: 10.19088/BASIC.2022.004
Is part of seriesBASIC Research Working Paper;4
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