Support research on social protection policies for agri-food workers in West Africa

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IPC-IG - UNDP International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth

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Application deadline 1 year ago: Tuesday 26 Jul 2022 at 00:00 UTC

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Agri-food system workers are exposed to many risks during their life cycle and are particularly vulnerable to covariate risks, such as droughts and floods. As they most operate in the informal sector, they do not have access to social protection (SP) programmes often available to formal sector workers and are consequently left unprotected against many common life cycle contingencies. With low and seasonal incomes and a limited access to productive and social services, agri-food system workers are impelled to continue working when sick, often in unsafe conditions, thus exposing themselves and their families to additional risks. Further, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the vulnerabilities in labour markets and demonstrated the coverage gaps of SP systems. West Africa has a particular set of concerns with regard to achieving widespread coverage of SP systems. Factors include high levels of vulnerability of a large percentage of the population; limited funds in government coffers allocated to SP, in comparison to the need; and protracted and concurrent food security, climate and conflict crises, among other issues. In the region, the food system accounts for a majority of jobs (66 per cent of total employment, or 82 million jobs, as of 2017). Roughly 78 per cent (64 million jobs) are in agriculture itself, 15 per cent (12 million) in food marketing and 5 per cent (four million) in food processing. The first step to enhancing universal access to comprehensive and adequate SP systems for the region, and in particular to agri-food systems workers, is to assess the state of coverage and adequacy, and types of coverage available in the countries/ region. Against this background, the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) and FAO Subregional Office for West Africa (FAO SFW) will join forces to take stock of the state of SP schemes for agri-food system workers in the region. This project, entitled “The state of social protection for agri-food systems workers in West Africa”, aims to develop a report that analyses the state of SP schemes for agri-food system workers in the region and detail selected country cases where good practices are identified through desk review and key informant interviews (KIIs). While the regional focus is West Africa, relevant experiences from other regions can also be considered.

Each selected Online Volunteer will be responsible for supporting CIP-IG researchers in one of the following specific tasks:

(i) Map social protection policies targeting rural populations, agricultural workers and agri-food workers in the West Africa region and other low and middle-income countries. (ii) Conduct desk reviews on detailed information about selected social protection programmes. (iii) Support key informant interviews (KIIs) in French and in English. (iv) Transcribe interviews in French and in English. (v) Support drafting the analysis and discussion of the results.

For more information about the Online Volunteering modality please review the following link:

Mandatory: Fluent English Fluent French Academic or professional experience in research in social protection, social sciences, political science, or economics.

Highly desirable: Experience in mapping policies. Experience in transcribing interviews in French. Knowledge of social protection. Knowledge of rural development.

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