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The Egyptian Social Fund For Development: Is It Such A Failure?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows that the failures of the Social Fund for Development (SFD) in Egypt largely reflect structural problems at the macro-economic and political levels. It shows how macro-economic change led to the initiation and evolution of the SFD, specifically via the implementation of neoliberal economic policies and the economic crisis of the early 1990s. The chapter analyzes how the transformation of the SFD into a permanent institution has incorporated the three main trends characterizing social-policy institutions under neoliberalism: market-orientation, decentralization, and participation. It discusses how the SFD performed in terms of participation, accountability, and embeddedness - the three main criteria and comparative advantages of empowered participatory institutions (EPIs). The chapter analyzes the SFD within the larger picture of the Egyptian semi-corporatist state, with its rentier economy, weak civil society, and authoritarian structures of power.

Keywords: Egyptian Social Fund for Development (SFD); embeddedness; empowered participatory institutions (EPIs); neoliberalism



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