The preserving effect of social protection on social cohesion in times of the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence from Kenya

The preserving effect of social protection on social cohesion in times of the COVID-19 pandemic: evidence from Kenya

Download PDF 788 KB

Strupat, Christoph
Discussion Paper 33/2021

Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

ISBN: 978-3-96021-176-1
DOI: https://doi.org/10.23661/dp33.2021
Price: 6 €

This paper examines empirically whether social protection in the form of adapted social assistance programmes are affecting social cohesion during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using unique primary data from nationally representative, in-person surveys from Kenya allows for the exploration of the effect of social protection on attributes of social cohesion (trust, cooperation and identity). The analysis employs a difference-in-differences approach that compares households with and without social assistance coverage before and after the first wave of the pandemic. The findings suggest that social assistance programmes have a preserving effect on social cohesion. Attributes of social cohesion remain stable for beneficiaries, while they decline for non-beneficiaries due to the pandemic. This result is pronounced in regions that faced larger restrictions due to government lockdown policies. Overall, the results suggest that existing national social assistance programmes and their adaptation in times of large covariate shocks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can be beneficial for social cohesion.

About the author

Strupat, Christoph

Economist

Strupat

Further experts

Balasubramanian, Pooja

Social Economics 

Burchi, Francesco

Development Economy 

Loewe, Markus

Economy 

Roll, Michael

Sociology 

Ruppel, Samantha

Political Science 

Sakketa, Tekalign Gutu

Agricultural / Development Economics 

Zintl, Tina

Political Scientist