Formal and Informal Social Safety Nets: Growth and Development in the Modern Economy


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Nor should it be forgotten, as Haque observes, that in the developing world there are centuries-old traditions of using cultural forms to educate people. So providers of informal learning can also make use of street theatre, music, dance, puppetry and poetry to bring people together, present alternative viewpoints, stimulate discussion and build collective commitment to change.

Again, a variety of media and methods can be employed to motivate and teach deliberate informal learners.

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Because these programmes have a particularly high appeal to women, this makes a strong contribution to the advance of female literacy Kothari, But it is radio which remains the most ubiquitous tool for reaching those on the margins of society in the developing world. Ponti shows that a shift from the subject-authority pattern of education to an agential pattern of peer-based education results in more invested learning, so community radio is particularly valuable when it is interactive. In a number of countries, including Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Columbia, radio plays a valuable role in peace-building and community reconciliation in the wake of war and civil conflict.

Evaluating the agricultural development programmes provided by 25 radio stations in Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Tanzania and Uganda, the African Farm Radio Research Initiative AFRRI found that dialogic programmes involving broadcasters, farmers, farming organizations, extension officers, researchers and NGOs and the use of mobiles for interviews, phone-ins, text messaging and SMS quizzes led to improved farming methods Perkins, The Canadian non-profit, Farm Radio International , which partners with radio broadcasters in 38 African countries to fight poverty and food insecurity, uses the free open-source voice content management Freedom Fone system to reach communities without access to other media and enable callers, who because of literacy and language barriers might otherwise remain less heard, to send and receive text and voice messages via the most common telephony channels.

Communities in the developing countries who are still disconnected from the global technological revolution can also gain access to computers, the Internet and informal learning and skills training through telecentres. These centres operate in many countries and while they take different forms and operate under different names and management systems, their common aim is to reduce feelings of isolation and provide digital technologies and services for individual and community learning and development.

A global organisation, Telecentre. Considerably ingenuity also is shown in the provision of mobile outreach. Thanks to search engines such as Google, informal learners can immediately access any information they need. YouTube has matured into one of the biggest resources for educational content ever and social media tools enable learners to share knowledge and join learning communities.

The worldwide move to free and open publishing also provides informal learners with access to vast range of online resource repositories, open education resources OER and massive open online resources MOOCs. Some of these learners may first have become aware of these learning opportunities through associated TV or radio programmes co-produced with the BBC. The OpenLearn website provides a variety of learning resources and activities, systems that compare users' profiles, suggest items they may have not yet considered and enable them to create personalised learning environments, and information and support for learners wishing to progress from incidental to more deliberate or formal learning Gomez et al, OpenLearn is an educational technology system designed for informal learners and over the past five years, it has attracted over 20 million unique visitors, , of whom have registered on the site and 1, of whom sign up monthly for formal study.

While the take up and impact has been considerable, there is unfortunately no current means of measuring the extent or depth of learning by non-registering and other informal learners Lane, With the advent of Web 2. In the case of the non-profit Peer to Peer University P2PU volunteer course organisers submit their ideas and seek guidance from experts and community members to create open source wiki-type materials and learner support systems. In the Australia-based digital version of the international University of the Third Age, U3A Online , retirees with ICT skills and specialised knowledge and interests create courses for other older learners anywhere in the world.

With increasing lifelong learning expectations, the demand for such forms of informal learning from those towards the end of the lifelong learning continuum seems likely to increase Swindell, In the developing world, the author Latchem, found that non-formal education included:. Some governments establish departments that are explicitly responsible for non-formal education, adult education or lifelong learning, typically within the Ministries of Education, as in Mongolia.

Some governments assign responsibility to other Ministries, for example in Malaysia, the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development. On average, individuals in these countries can expect to receive hours of non-formal education during the course their working lives, hours of which will be job-related.

Adults with higher levels of education are more likely to participate in, and receive up to three times as many hours of, non-formal education than those with lower levels of attainment and so there is still great need to make non-formal education more accessible for people of all ages and particularly the information- and assistance-deprived OECD, The limited non-formal education provision in developing nations is of particular concern.

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Non-formal education is provided by public institutions, public-private partnerships, employers, trade unions, media organisations, civic social groups, NGOs and international agencies. Kahler found that it was NGOs, sometimes working in parallel or collaboration with government agencies, who with their flexibility and ability to intervene in a timely fashion were at the forefront of innovation in non-formal education for community development, health education, enterprise development, agriculture and environmental education.

He stressed the need for trust and cross-sectoral collaboration in addressing the complexities of community-based education programmes in areas such as water and sanitation, pest management and reproductive health. He also advocated a human resource development approach and involving the beneficiaries in experiential learning so that they felt that they had ownership of the developmental process, grew in self-confidence and mastered the knowledge and skills needed to do the job.

He also observed the importance of ensuring quality in the learning methods and materials. He concluded that all of these measures demanded significant investments in staff, time and resources. While not all open and distance development projects require ICT, the World Bank observes that the opportunities for fulfilling the promise of ICT for development has now grown enormously, given that 5 billion people in developing countries use mobile phones, and the number of Internet users has risen fold, Facebook has more than million users worldwide, and Twitter handles more than 1.

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In such an inter-connected world, it should be much easier and economical to help people learn how best to farm and fish, where their best markets are, how to start and improve their small enterprises and how to make their voices heard and trigger change, for example, by reporting illegal logging, violence against women and corruptive practices, and to maximise human capacity in disadvantaged, remote and rural communities, and among women and the disabled. To these ends, the World Bank is committed to supporting:.

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Buy Softcover. FAQ Policy. Numerous historical accounts document the important role played by castes in supporting the rural-urban migration that accompanied British rule and the growth of cities in the 19th century.

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Particular castes found particular niches in the urban labour market, and once networks in the city were established, they supported the movement of fresh migrants from the hinterland, often over the course of many generations. Structural change has created new economic opportunities over the past 25 years, but it has also brought new challenges. In particular, market imperfections, which give rise to networks, can be exacerbated in a dynamic economy.

My own research on the diamond industry shows how a historically disadvantaged caste took advantage of a shock to the world supply of rough diamonds in the late s to move from agriculture and then industrial labour into the export business, over the course of a single generation. The encouraging theoretical and empirical finding that emerges from this research is that once networks form, they will strengthen relatively rapidly in historically disadvantaged castes with weaker outside options.


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The occupational convergence between upper castes and lower castes that has been previously documented may well have been driven by many such transitions, supported by underlying caste networks, especially among the lower castes. The picture I have painted of the caste networks up to this point is entirely positive.

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However, these informal institutions have limitations of their own. The same networks that can be so effective in supporting the movement of groups of individuals across space and occupations can also restrict the mobility of individual members once they are established. Mark Rosenzweig and I studied schooling choice goo. When the Indian economy restructured in the early s, shifting economic activity in Mumbai from manufacturing to services, these networks had been in place for over a century.

We provide evidence, based on the schooling choices of the children, that these blue-collar networks turned out to be a hindrance in this economy, keeping their members in the traditional now less remunerative occupations and preventing them from taking advantage of the new opportunities that became available. Caste networks can have other unintended consequences for mobility. In a recent paper goo.

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These networks are based on reciprocity. When a household suffers a negative income shock, it receives monetary transfers from caste members that allow it to consume at its customary level. In the future, it is expected to provide transfers to other households when they receive a negative shock. A household with migrants will be less insured by its rural network for two reasons.

Formal and Informal Social Safety Nets: Growth and Development in the Modern Economy
Formal and Informal Social Safety Nets: Growth and Development in the Modern Economy
Formal and Informal Social Safety Nets: Growth and Development in the Modern Economy
Formal and Informal Social Safety Nets: Growth and Development in the Modern Economy
Formal and Informal Social Safety Nets: Growth and Development in the Modern Economy
Formal and Informal Social Safety Nets: Growth and Development in the Modern Economy

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