An increasing number of developing countries have been adopting social protection programs in recent decades. The Gambia is one of the smallest countries in Africa with an estimated population of 1.9 million, a large proportion of youth (71 percent under the age of 30), and an average annual population growth rate of 3.1 percent. The incidence of poverty is 48.6 percent of the population living under the national poverty line, almost unchanged since 2010, and an estimated real GDP per capita of US$488 (2017). The country faces important development challenges as reflected by the relatively low ranking in the HDI in 2015 (173 out of 188 countries) (UNDP 2017).
To mitigate these challenges, in February 2016 the Cabinet approved the National Social Protection Policy (NSPP). The policy defines a comprehensive and cross-cutting social protection (SP) agenda. It proposes a set of priority actions to guide the gradual establishment of an integrated and equitable social protection system in The Gambia. Moving forward, in an environment of fiscal constraints and budget realities, it is important to develop strategies to improve programs’ design, including modalities for identifying and registering the intended beneficiaries.
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