SEEVCA – “The Next Big Step on the Social Protection Agenda!”
The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services has been the main driver in championing the social protection agenda in Zambia following the launch of the National Social Protection Policy in 2014. The Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme is one of the social protection programmes that has put Zambia on the map with regard to the social protection platform, having scored quite a number of significant milestones in impacting on the vulnerable and poor individuals and households in the past more than 10 years since inception of the programme in 2003.
The programme has also greatly contributed to the reduction of poverty and levels of vulnerability among the targeted categories being the households with orphans and vulnerable children, older persons, persons living with disabilities, female headed households and the chronically ill on palliative care. The impact evaluation report by American Institute for Research (AIR) demonstrated that the social cash transfer in Zambia was able to reduce extreme poverty by 5.4 percentage points within a period of 24 months (2010 – 2012), The Social Cash Transfer Caseload in Zambia stands at 560,042 as at 31st December 2018, with a target scale up to 700,000 households by close of the year 2019.
However, the Zambian Government is alive to the fact that the cash transfers alone may not respond to all the social protection interventions for the poor and vulnerable individuals and households. Drawing lessons from the global perspective and the paradigm shift toward the ‘cash plus’ concept in providing integrated social protection interventions, the Government through the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services with support from cooperating partners, USAID and UNICEF has designed a new social protection intervention programme known as the Service Efficiency and Effectiveness for Vulnerable Children and Adolescents (SEEVCA).
The initiative under the SEEVCA programme is based on the ‘cash-plus’ concept to supplement the cash transfers by creating synergies to service provision such as education, health, protection, birth registration among others, targeting the vulnerable children and adolescents (VCAs). The SEEVCA programme is being implemented in 15 districts namely, Lusaka, Chilanga, Kafue, Chirundu, Chongwe, Rufunsa, Luangwa, Shibuyunji, Ndola, Luanshya, Mufulira, Kitwe, Kalulushi, Chingola and Chililabombwe.