- With one third of the population living in poverty and millions experiencing chronic food insecurity, the government of Ethiopia faces difcult and complex challenges. One of the most robust and effective social protection efforts is the Productive Safety Net Program, which has served more than seven million people since 2005. This article explores the role of power and politics and posits that the maintenance of political control explains why components of the program are not implemented as planned. We focus upon everyday mundane aspects of life in rural communities wherein governmental programs entrench political control while making progress towards stated objectives.
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