Community Participation In Formal Social Security Programmes In Zimbabwe: A Case Of Harmonised Social Cash Transfers (Hsct) In Epworth District.

Taruvinga Muzingili

Abstract


Community participation in development projects in Zimbabwe is not new but its linkage with cash transfer schemes is rather latest. Cash transfer schemes emerged quite recently as an effective social protection interventions that can tackle poverty and other forms of deprivations. It is a valuable tool for promoting sustainability in development programmes. The study sought to analyse the importance of community participation in cash transfer schemes and sustainability of development projects within a peri-urban environment. The unit of analysis for the study was Epworth District, with special focus on the Zimbabwe Harmonised Social Cash Transfer Scheme that is currently being implemented by the Government of Zimbabwe through Ministry of Labour and Social Services. Data gathered from participants (n=231) through questionnaires and focus group discussions revealed considerable evidence of improved social cohesion and trends towards sustainability achieved through community participation in cash transfer schemes. The study also revealed that the benefits of community participation in cash transfers schemes are not limited to beneficiaries only but extend to other community members. This translates into changes in livelihoods which eventually lead to improvements in their lifestyles and well-being. Recommendations were made for further inquiry into the effect of community participation in cash transfer schemes on other socio-economic phenomena such as economic development. Based on the findings, it was concluded that sustainability in cash transfers is enhanced by community participation and it also goes beyond the scope of the programme to address other issues of social and human development.


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