The manual for the National Social Safety Net Project (NASSP) under the Social Investment Programme of the Federal Government, is a revision of what was originally designed as a users’ guide for the selection and management of beneficiaries for the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) but now modified for use as a guide in the selection and management of beneficiaries in National Social Safety Nets Programme (NASSP). The NASSP includes targeted interventions including a based and conditional cash transfers.
The program uses a combination of targeting methods including geographic targeting, Community-Based Targeting (CBT), and the application of a Proxy Means Test (PMT) for identifying and screening poor and vulnerable households for its interventions. The database of identified poor households, families or individual called State Social Register of Poor and Vulnerable Households SRPVH or Social Register of Poor (SRP) or simply Social Register (SR), can be used for selecting beneficiaries for NASSP and other targeted social safety net programs in the future as part of a social protection system.
An important feature of this manual is the articulation of a series of steps that would not only lead to gathering information on the poor and vulnerable, but also how to ensure that such information is translated into a secured data that could be of value to a different stakeholders.
The concepts of poverty and vulnerability have come to stay in welfare discourse. Though, the two are interrelated, they do not necessarily mean the same. While poverty is a static concept dealing with those that are poor at that point in time (i.e. analyzed at a point in time), vulnerability is a dynamic concept looking at not only those that are poor now but those that are likely to become poor or move out of poverty at a future date. Hence, poverty is an ex post measure while vulnerability is an ex ante measure of condition of living. Figure 1 below provides further insight to the difference between poverty and vulnerability. Vulnerability can be seen as movement into and out of the poverty pool. The vulnerability of a household can therefore be viewed within the context of the risk chain with three interrelated components
A household here is defined as group of people living together, eating from the same source and impacting on the well-being of each other either by contributing resources to or taking resources from a common pool.
Poverty is the lack of command over commodities (such as food and non-food items, key assets and social determinants) essential for human development leading to pronounced deprivation in well-being or welfare. Vulnerability on the other hand, is the risk that a household or individual will, if currently non-poor, fall below the poverty line, or if currently poor, will remain in poverty. It is also regarded as exposure to adverse shocks, rather than to poverty under a multidimensional view. When uncertainty or shocks occur some individuals are able to manage it and still maintain their welfare level, but some are not able to and so they experience welfare loss. Such individuals are vulnerable to poverty. The poor are particularly more vulnerable, because they already have difficulty in their welfare situation and so with a shock or sudden debilitating events, they fall deeper into poverty.
Dimensions of Poverty and Vulnerability
Poverty is usually considered from money-metric and non-money-metric approaches. The money-metric approach uses money as the yardstick to determine level of poverty of a given individual or household. This approach uses either income or consumption as the basis for determining poverty. However, because of the weak income data and the possibility of non-reportage of actual income by people in developing economies, the consumption expenditure is seen as a good measure of money-metric poverty. Hence, individuals or households are rated poor or non-poor based on their expenditure on basic needs for healthy living. From the perspective of non-money metric poverty, different dimensions of living are normally used including asset, poor health, poor nutritional status, low level of education or illiteracy, lack of (access to) basic services, social exclusion, insecurity, lack of freedom and voice and lack of empowerment. In this kind of approach, poverty is viewed from the different aspects of life which cannot be easily monetised but which affect the status of individuals or households. This approach is also referred to as multidimensional poverty.
It must be stated that poverty can be analysed on individual, household or community (geographical) basis. Community poverty deals essentially with lack of or inadequate basic social infrastructure essential for good living by a defined geographical entity which then limits the well-being of inhabitants. Hence, communities can be regarded as poor relative to each other and this can be used to select poor communities using geographical targeting. Household poverty relates to inability of households to meet basic needs of life for its members while individual poverty talks about inability of an individual to meet basic needs essential for healthy living. ex ante (preventive risk management strategies) or ex post (risk mitigating and coping strategies).