Designing and Implementing Social Transfer Programmes

6 – 17 August 2018 . Cape Town


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About the course

African countries are increasingly recognising the value of social protection programmes in reducing extreme poverty with success stories in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The Economic Policy Research Institute (EPRI), together with UNU-MERIT/Maastricht Graduate School of Governance and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is offering a two-week course, including a number of specialised modules, aimed at providing participants with an in-depth understanding of the conceptual and practical issues involved in the development of social transfer programmes. Participants will acquire tools required for the appropriate identification and successful design and implementation of these programmes.

Who is it for?

The course aims to build the capacity of government policymakers and officials, representatives from bilateral and multilateral agencies, programme practitioners and staff members from non-governmental organisations in Africa. The course will serve those who want to more effectively design, implement and manage social protection programmes in Africa with the goal of reducing poverty and better achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

How participants will benefit

At the end of the course, the successful participant will better understand the comprehensive approach to social protection and how appropriate social protection instruments can reduce poverty and vulnerability and promote developmental outcomes. The course will reinforce the skills required to identify, design and implement effective social protection programmes. The curriculum is international in scope and standard but with a distinct orientation  to the African context. A team of international experts, skilled professionals and leaders in the field will teach the course. The certificated course will be jointly accredited by the UNU-MERIT/Maastricht Graduate School of Governance and the Economic Policy Research Institute.

What the course will cover

The course is offered as a two week course or in one week course format. Participants have the option of participating in either the full two week course (core and elective) or simply participating in one of the one week courses – the core course or the specialized topic electives.

The course includes a coordinated series of theme-oriented sessions, practical skills-building workshops, field trips to visit social protection sites and relevant technical skills training. The course will be taught using formal lectures, practical case studies and hands on exercises. Topics will include:

  • The role of social protection in reducing poverty, vulnerability and social exclusion
  • The identification of appropriate social protection instruments for specific country contexts
  • The design of social protection and cash transfer programmes
  • Implementation issues, including registration, targeting, payment and information systems
  • Monitoring and evaluation approaches for social protection systems
  • Case studies of successful programmes around the world
  • Field trips to see South Africa’s social protection system in action

Choose a specialisation

During the second week of the course, participants will choose one of several intensive, five-day modules on a specialised topic. Offerings may vary based on demand, but typical options include:

Social protection policy

Understand the importance, content and process of developing national social protection polices, and review and critique a sample of social protection policies in Africa.

Financial inclusion and economic opportunity: linkages to social protection

Maximise social transfers’ developmental impact and linkages by learning to design efficient and financially inclusive payment arrangements that bring the world of formal financial services to beneficiaries.

Monitoring and evaluating social protection programmes

Gain an in-depth, practical understanding of how monitoring and impact assessment can be used to evaluate programme success, analyse alternative designs, improve programme operation, enhance cost-effectiveness and ensure programme sustainability. Simultaneously, learn to use micro-simulation models to analyse existing social protection policies, estimate the impacts of proposed initiatives, engage effectively with a growing body of evidence and provide credible, accessible information to policymakers.

For more information on our specialised topic courses, please click here.

Fees and other costs

The tuition fee for the two-week course is £2,990. The tuition fee also includes travel on scheduled visits and optional hands-on computer based skill workshops. The comprehensive accommodation and facilities fee is £1,570, which includes four-star accommodation, three meals per day and teas, per diems, recreational activities and tours, airport transfers and use of included facilities. The fees do not include international travel to and from Cape Town, South Africa.

If you would only like to apply for the core course or one of the five-day specialised topics, the tuition fee is £1,690. The comprehensive accommodation and facilities fee is £ 870, which includes four-star accommodation, three meals per day and teas, per diems, airport transfers and use of included facilities. The fees do not include international travel to and from Cape Town, South Africa.

How to apply

Click here for an online application form.

To apply by post or fax, email or contact EPRI at:

Phone: +27 (0)21 671 3301


EPRI is offering this course in partnership with the UNU-MERIT/Maastricht Graduate School of Governance and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in Sussex.


About EPRI

The Economic Policy Research Institute is a South African-based non-governmental organisation with extensive experience in social protection research, policy advisory work and capacity-building. EPRI has designed and taught tailor-made courses and programmes to meet the specific needs of national parliaments, government departments and civil society organisations.

About UNU-MERIT/Maastricht Graduate School of Governance

UNU-MERIT is a joint research and training institute of United Nations University and Maastricht University, based in the Netherlands. The institute explores the social, political and economic factors that drive technological innovation, with a particular focus on creation, diffusion and access to knowledge. Working with its School of Governance (MGSoG), UNU-MERIT covers all aspects of governance in domestic and global organizations, from risk assessment to policy analysis, design and evaluation. The MGSoG prepares professionals and researchers for policy analysis, risk assessment, policy design, policy monitoring, policy evaluation and methods and techniques of policy research. Overall the joint institute functions as a unique research centre and graduate school for more than 80 PhD fellows and 100 Master students. It is also a UN think tank addressing a broad range of policy questions on science, innovation and democratic governance.

About IDS

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is a leading global institution for development research, teaching and learning, and impact and communications, based at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom.