Year: 2015
Working paper number: 357
Author: Granvik, Mia
Unit: CSSR General
Lesotho is one of a small number of countries in Africa to have introduced one national cash transfer programme (the Old Age Pension, OAP) and to be in the process of establishing another (the Child Grant Programme, CGP). Although Lesotho has followed what has been called the 'Southern African model', the introduction of the OAP was not the result of an explicit process of cross-national policy diffusion. The CGP was initially driven by international organisations, but the dynamics were not Southern African, and the Lesotho Government quickly took ownership of the initiative. Unlike in many other parts of Africa, these reforms were not resisted by domestic political elites. The OAP, especially, was championed by the Prime Minister, with support from the Minister of Finance. The reforms were rooted in both socio-economic changes, with the AIDS pandemic highlighting the inadequacy of extended familial responsibility for the poor, and political change, with the (possibly short-lived) restoration of stable democratic competition in the early 2000s opening the political space for programmatic reform.
Publication file: WP 357.pdf