The policy dialogue is part of the University of Nairobi's efforts to bridge the research and practice gap. The University values disseminating research findings for purposes of stimulating policy debates and more so finding solutions to development challenges. This dialogue on social protection and informal workers is informed by research that has been running under the leadership of three universities: the University of Nairobi, Kenya; University of Mzumbe, Tanzania; and University of Roskilde, Denmark.
Speaking during the event, the Associate Vice-Chancellor-RIE, Prof. Margaret Hutchinson noted that Social protection is a development issue that concerns all of us. Across regions and countries, governments are making great efforts to provide for their citizens through various forms of social protection. In many parts of Africa, citizens cannot afford social insurance. she further stated that they have to rely on social assistance, for example, through cash transfers and food subsidies. The families that experience the main challenge of social protection largely operate within the informal economy which is well known for cushioning households. This justifies the focus of the research towards the three sectors dominated by informal workers.
"This forum provides us with the opportunity to identify the challenges of social protection provision from various perspectives (researchers, policy, practitioners, and workers). It is also an opportunity to identify solutions for delivering social protection to informal workers", says Prof. Hutchinson.
The Associate Vice-Chancellor, RIE thanked the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) funding which enabled the researchers to do their work and to also provide opportunity for two Ph.D. students attached to the project. She also applauded the IDS for taking the lead in the planning of the policy dialogue and for collaborating with other research institutions in premier universities in the co-creation of knowledge in the area of informal workers and social protection.
Also present during the occasion were Prof. Winnie Mitullah Prof. Karuti Kanyinga and Dr. Anne Kamau