October 21, 2016 – A team of local PEP researchers held a national policy conference in Lagos, Nigeria, where they shared their findings on the impact of an unconditional cash transfer program for the elderly in Ekiti State, Nigeria.
Key stakeholders and decision makers from the federal Ministry of Labor and Employment and other relevant state and federal-level government departments, as well as academics, representatives of beneficiaries and the public sector, and several journalists attended the event.
The conference was organized in collaboration with the Ekiti State Ministry of Labor, Productivity and Human Development, the government body responsible for implementing the cash transfer program, and aimed to inform and excite major stakeholders regarding the team’s policy recommendations. During the event the team proposed a framework for the design and implementation of a national social security scheme targeting vulnerable groups in Nigeria.
In this study, selected for support under the PAGE initiative in 2013, the researchers worked with the Ekiti State Ministry of Labor, Productivity and Human Development to evaluate the impact of the cash transfer scheme in terms of beneficiary well-being using the experimental randomized controlled trial method.
The research team analyzed first-hand data from a sample of 6,326 potential beneficiaries (from 112 wards in Ekiti State) as well as from 24,176 household members to form their baseline data. Approximately 50% of the sample received cash transfers from the state government for one year (October 2013 to 2014) after which the entire sample was surveyed for a second time and the results analyzed to establish the impact of the program. Find out more about the team’s research, findings and recommendations in the PEP working paper 2016-21.
Those present participated in discussions on current issues facing the social security system in Nigeria and how the team’s findings may inform policy decisions. The role that interventions targeted at vulnerable population groups, such as cash transfers for the elderly, can play as a safety net during economic recessions, such as Nigeria is presently experiencing, were a key topic of discussion. The team’s findings are particularly relevant because the Ekiti Cash Transfer scheme for the elderly was first implemented in the aftermath of the global financial crises.
During the event, several government officials stated that the team’s findings will help shape their thinking and decisions regarding microcredit programs. The representative for the Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment promised to convey the policy message supporting the proposed national social security program to the Minister of Labor and Employment and other members of the federal government.
Several weeks after the conference, the federal government announced a plan to provide social security to 50% of vulnerable population groups, starting with unemployed youth. The research team is now in discussions with the federal government regarding the implementation of the scheme and a possible evaluation of a pilot intervention.
Additionally, the Minister for Labor and Employment’s Press Secretary invited the team leader, Dr. Damilola Olajide, to contribute to the ministry’s presentation at the World Summit on Social Security in November 2016 in Panama.
Both the conference and the results of the study were reported in two daily national newspapers: The Nigerian Tribune and The Nation. Additional press coverage was limited due to the current political situation in Nigeria.