Ethiopia Productive Safety Net Programme

The Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) is one of the Government of Ethiopia's (GoE's) flagship reform programmes and represents a significant transformation of the Government's strategy for meeting the Poverty and Hunger MDG in Ethiopia.

The PSNP delivers cash and/or food transfers to 7-8 million rural Ethiopians for six months every year, either through Public Works (85%) or for free as Direct Support (15%). Donor commitment to this programme has also been reflected in the “Ending the Cycle of Famine” G8 Paper, where the PSNP was presented as an innovative and priority action in Ethiopia.

Some of the greatest concerns of the PSNP Donors are related to humanitarian aspects of the programme - specifically, the consequences if the most vulnerable fail to receive appropriate transfers in a timely and effective manner. This risk is linked to the institutional transition from the Annual Emergency Appeal to the Productive Safety Nets.

Two years after IDS led an assessment of the PSNP after its first year of operation, IDS and its partners have been commissioned to undertake a new study, to provide an update and analysis of key aspects of the PSNP programme.

These aspects include but are not limited to the following:

  • understanding trends related to the use of cash and in-kind transfers;
  • determining progress towards making the transfers more predictable;
  • the effectiveness of changes made over the past 12 months to the targeting guidelines;
  • progress made towards graduation from the PSNP;
  • beneficiaries’ perceptions of the effectiveness and transparency the Programme;
  • HIV/AIDS-related risks and opportunities.

Key contact

Photo of Stephen Devereux, IDS Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Research Fellow

T: +44 (0)1273 915813


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Photo of Rachel Sabates Wheeler

T: +44 (0)1273 915759


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Partner organisations

Project Dates:
February 2008 - June 2008
Project Status:
World Bank Group
Research Themes / Programmes:
Social Protection