Understanding elite commitment to social protection: Rwanda’s Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme

Research output: Working paper


This paper examines the political economy of the adoption and evolution of Rwanda’s Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP), concluding that strong government commitment to the VUP was shaped by the characteristics of the political settlement that was established around 2000. For the Rwandan government, the VUP has never been just a social transfer programme, but a key part of the development strategy that aims to promote social stability and the legitimacy of the ruling coalition through rapid socioeconomic development. In particular, the VUP originates in an emerging distributional crisis in the mid-2000s in which rapid economic growth alongside low rates of poverty reduction threatened the government narrative of inclusive development. While donor social protection ideas have also been influential, these are purposefully adapted by government with a view to meeting its developmental and political goals.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Sept 2017

Publication series

NameDevelopment and Change
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN (Print)0012-155X


  • Rwanda
  • Social protection
  • Policy transfer
  • Ideas
  • Political settlements
  • Process tracing

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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