Coverage of older people in Ethiopia's social protection system

Analysing the coverage of older people in Ethiopia’s social protection system

Ethiopia's National Social Protection Policy (NSPP) recognises that older people in Ethiopia are ‘amongst the most vulnerable and affected segments of the society”. (NSSP, page 1). Recognizing that pensions are crucial to reduce vulnerability to poverty in older age, the NSSP proposes to expand the coverage of Ethiopia’s pension system by introducing a non-contributory universal social
pension for all men and women over the age of 70 years who have not paid into a contributory scheme. In its section on social assistance (Focus Area 6.1. Promote Social Safety Net), the NSSP
states that “government will progressively introduce a non-contributory universal social pension for elders over the age of 70 who are not into a contributory pension scheme.” (NSSP,
page 6). Specifically, the NSSP calls for the following: 'Introduce social pension schemes for older and other vulnerable persons' (NSSP, page 6).

To support the realisation of these objectives set out in the NSSP, HelpAge International Ethiopia commissioned a study to analyse the coverage of older people by Ethiopia’s main social protection programmes. The study involved collecting primary data at both federal and regional level, as well as comprehensive review of secondary data and documents to establish the coverage of older people by Ethiopia’s main social protection programmes. This information was triangulated with information from a series of in-depth interviews with government representatives at the federal level and across eight study sites, as well as 16 focus group discussions with older recipients and non-recipients of the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP).

This brief seeks to provide a summary of key findings of the assessment, as well as conclusions and recommendations emerging from the research.