Social Policies in Seychelles

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The country case studies and thematic papers in this series examine social policy issues facing small states and the implications for economic development. They show how, despite their inherent vulnerability, some small states have been successful in improving their social indicators because of the complementary social and economic policies they have implemented.


Seychelles has one of the most extensive social policy programmes in the developing world, and has been identified as a model for the rest of Africa. As a small state, however, it remains economically vulnerable and in 2008 had to accept a financial rescue package from the IMF. This book provides comprehensive analysis of social policy development in the country from the colonial era onwards, focusing on the political and economic developments that have led to the current situation. The challenge now is to maintain current levels of social policy interventions in the face of severe indebtedness and the stagnation of economic growth.




This working paper was produced as a country case study as part of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development’s (UNRISD)–Commonwealth Secretariat project on social policy in small states.1 Seychelles is an important case study of social development in and of itself, but also because it has one of the most extensive social policy programmes in the developing world, as evidenced by its consistently high rankings in the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Index (HDI) (see Table 1.1), which ranks it highest in sub- Saharan Africa. What was the set of social policy interventions that promoted Seychelles to such a position? And what was the material base and political context for these interventions?


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