Strengthening Social Protection in Zambia

Switzerland aims to increase the resilience of poor and vulnerable households in Zambia by strengthening the government’s systems for managing and delivering social assistance to vulnerable populations.  Specific objectives are to make the payment process more efficient, increase domestic financing to social protection and equip the Social Cash Transfer programme to respond to climate-related and other shocks.

SDC will contribute to existing programmes of UNICEF and the World Bank.

Pays/région Thème Période Budget
Emploi & développement économique
Changement climatique & environnement
Aide humanitaire & RRC
Protection sociale
Mobilisation des ressources intérieures
Réduction des risques de catastrophes
Aide alimentaire d'urgence
15.06.2022 - 31.10.2026
CHF  10’900’000

Despite recent economic progress, Zambia continues to experience intractably high poverty and inequality rates. Food security and access to services amongst poor and vulnerable groups is threatened by high inflation, rising fuel and fertilizer prices, and global increases in food prices and incressing frequency of natural disasters. 

Proactive measures that build resilence, such as social assistance, are crucial to boost incomes and purchasing power and to prevent negative coping mechanisms and increased livelihood losses. Cash transfers, in particular, are catalytic to addressing multiple dimensions of poverty, and, if part of a functional social protection system, cost less than exposte humanitarian assistance.

Zambia’s Social Cash Transfer programme enjoys large stakeholder buy-in and specifically targets marginalised populations, but its rapid growth has exposed weaknesses in the structures and systems of programme administration. There is also a need to boost the government’s commitment to funding the programme in the context of a shrinking fiscal space.

Switzerland brings a long term commitment and a systemic approach to leave no one behind to help make the Social Cash Transfers more efficient and responsive to shocks. The intervention contributes to all Swiss portfolio outcomes of the Cooperation Programme 2023-2026, especially the explicit goal to strengthen social protection systems. It is also a conducive entry point for Switzerland to engage in Zambia despite no physical presence in the country.

Objectifs The goal of this project is to increase access to livelihood support and resilience to climaterelated and other shocks by strengthening the Government of Zambia’s systems for managing and delivering social assistance to vulnerable populations.
Groupes cibles

-    An estimated 1’020’800 households from marginalised populations such as the disabled, the chronically ill, the orphaned and other left behind groups

-    Government officers, policymakers and implementing authorities

-    Community Welfare Assistance Committees and Area Coordinating Committees

Effets à moyen terme

-    Improved access to social cash transfer assistance, specifically for women, child headed households and disabled persons 

-    Increased government allocations and disbursements to the Social Cash Transfer programme

-    Increased coverage of consolidated Cash Plus frameworks for shock-responsiveness

-    Increased number of complaints resolved within the stipulated time frame

-    Enhanced resilience of beneficiary households    


Principaux résultats attendus:  

-    Updated National Social Protection Policy and sustainable financing strategy 

-    Strengthened single window service delivery system

-    Strengthened digital system to deliver social cash transfers to beneficiaries electronically

-    Capacity building of institutional and coordination structures at national and community levels 

-    At least one advocacy session per quarter with Members of Parliament

-    At least 1’020’800 households receive Social Cash Transfers by the end 2026

-    Roll out of grievance redress mechanism to all districts

Principaux résultats antérieurs:  

-    National Social Protection Policy and its sustainable financing strategy

-    Reached  30 percent of population of Zambia with an increased monthly transfer amount of ZMW200 (about USD 12) compared to ZMW90 per month in 2019

-    Rolled out grievance redress mechanism in 67 out of 116 districts of Zambia

-    Reached  204’160 beneficiary households affected by COVID-19 with six-month emergency support

Direction/office fédéral responsable DDC
Partenaire de projet Partenaire contractuel
Institution financière internationale (IFI)
Secteur privé
Organisme des Nations Unies (ONU)
  • Sectreur privé étranger Sud/Est
  • Fonds des Nations Unies pour l’enfance
  • Banque Mondiale - Banque internationale pour la reconstruction et le développement

Coordination avec d'autres projets et acteurs

Swiss Embassy supported projects:

R4 Initiative; SADC Regional Vulnerability Assessment & Analysis Programme; Africa Risk Capacity

Other donors: Sweden/SIDA, Ireland, UK/FCDO, Germany/KfW and IDA 

Budget Phase en cours Budget de la Suisse CHF    10’900’000 Budget suisse déjà attribué CHF    4’893’157
Phases du projet Phase 1 15.06.2022 - 31.10.2026   (Phase en cours)