Reducing dependency when implementing the basic income grant in Namibia: views of Social Workers and Administrative Officers

Shinyama, Loini Ndeshipanda
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Namibia like many other developing countries has high levels of poverty due to unemployment and inequality, regardless of the grants provided. There is a need to reduce poverty through Basic Income Grant (BIG), there is a political debate on effectively implementing it without creating dependency. Against this background, the study was designed to explore social worker’s views on how dependency can be reduced when implementing BIG. Furthermore, the researcher has also explored views of administrative officers. The study was qualitative in nature and employed a case study design to obtain in-depth and comprehensive exploration. A sample of nineteen (19) comprising; fourteen social workers, three administrative officers, one administrative officer volunteer and one community liaison officer was drawn from the target population of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare in Namibia, through purposive and snow ball sampling. The data was collected through one-on-one interviews using a semi-structured interview schedule, and the data was analyzed using thematic analysis. The empirical findings of this research revealed that employing strategies such as utilizing means test to benefit only those who are in dire need, to encourage fair distribution of resources, providing grant attached to skills development and economic activities might reduce dependency on a BIG. To support these reforms, the study calls for skills development and education, for the BIG to be implemented with a criteria and for further research on different approaches towards social development apart from grants. The research recommends further research on the same topic with possible grant recipients as participants.
A report on a research study presented to The Department of Social Work School of Human and Community Development Faculty of Humanities University of the Witwatersrand In partial fulfilment of the requirements For the degree Master of Arts in Social Development