Centre for Social Protection

Social protection is a set of policies and programmes that reduce poverty and provide a safety net for the poorest and most marginalised people and communities. 

Woman and family on steps

The Centre for Social Protection (CSP) supports a global network of partners working to mainstream social protection in development policy and encourage social protection systems and instruments that are comprehensive, long-term, sustainable and pro-poor.

CSP produces research on conceptual approaches; design issues, including delivery, targeting and affordability; and impacts of different social protection initiatives, on the themes of climate change adaptation; conflict, food security and agriculture, health, microfinance and migration. The CSP is also the home of the Adaptive Social Protection programme.

Mark Davies from the Centre explains what social protection is and how it can make a difference to the lives of poor people.

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Sign up to the CSP quarterly newsletter on social protection research and useful resources including publications, events, vacancies and contacts: socialprotection@ids.ac.uk

Photo of Deepta Chopra, IDS Governance and Gender / Sexuality Research Fellow More details

Photo of Deepta Chopra, IDS Governance and Gender / Sexuality Research Fellow More details

Photo of Dolf te Lintelo More details

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Jeremy Lind More details

Photo of Keetie Roelen, Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Protection, IDS More details

Photo of Elizabeth O'Brien More details

Photo of Martin Greeley, IDS Research Fellow More details

Photo of Rachel Sabates Wheeler More details

Photo of Richard Longhurst, a Research Associate More details

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

Photo of Vivienne Benson, Administrator, Globalisation Team More details

EuropeAid - Assistance in Social Transfers

The European Commission's Advisory Service in Social Transfers' project (ASiST) aims to increase the contribution of social transfers to addressing food and nutrition security. The project gives advisory services as requested by EU delegations. These services include building capacity for the design of social transfer programmes, developing a body of knowledge and supporting the policy dialogue. More details

Where next for social protection?

This project will examine the future of social protection and the major issues and debates that are likely to dominate thinking around these issues in the next 5-10 years. More details

Beneficiary and service providers’ perceptions assessment of the Integrated Nutrition and Social Cash Transfer (IN-SCT) Pilot, Ethiopia

The Centre for Social Protection at IDS, in collaboration with Rebret Business and Consultancy, has been asked by UNICEF Ethiopia to undertake a study assessing beneficiary and service provider perceptions and feedback of the Integrated Nutrition – Social Cash Transfer (IN-SCT) pilot in Ethiopia. This represents a qualitative study focusing on programme implementation and impact, particularly focusing on nutrition. More details

Set of Studies on Social Protection in Low- and Middle-Income Countries with Special Focus on Ghana

The Centre for Social Protection at IDS, UNICEF Office of Research, UNICEF Ghana and the University of Ghana are collaborating on a set of joint papers tackling topical issues in social protection. These include urban social protection, social accountability and citizenship and ‘cash plus’ models. More details

Research and 'Think Piece' on Opportunities for WFP Engagement in the Global Social Protection Arena

The WFP has contracted IDS to develop a think-piece examining the nexus of food security, nutrition and safety nets and social protection that will support the Safety Nets and Social Protection unit take shape and that will refine the areas of WFP’s corporate and global engagement. This will build on the work of the High Level Panel of Experts on Social Protection for Food Security. More details

Designing a Grievance Mechanism and Exit Strategy for Zimbabwe's Harmonized Social Cash Transfer Programme

In 2011 the Ministry of Public Services, Labor and Social Welfare, Government of Zimbabwe (MPSLSW) launched a social cash transfer programme, known as the Harmonised Social Cash transfer (HSCT) for labour constrained extremely poor households. The Centre for Social Protection has been commissioned to design a grievance mechanism and an options paper for responsible exit of the HSCT. More details

Save the Children: How can social protection better respond to child poverty in Nepal?

Nepal has expanded its investment in social protection over the last few years, with a National Framework for Social Protection drafted in 2011. However, the impact of social protection generally and on children is compromised by challenges in coverage, implementation and delivery. Save the Children commissioned IDS to assess how social protection addresses child poverty in Nepal in order to inform their advocacy at the national level. More details

Accelerating Progress in Reducing Hunger and Undernutrition

This programme will focus on how agriculture can deliver better nutrition outcomes by developing evidence-based policy options and tools for businesses, governments, NGOs and donors. More details

Researching the Links between Social Protection and Children’s Care

This project aims to investigate the links between social protection and children's care. More details

Scoping Social Protection in the Middle East and North Africa

The Cairo Regional Bureau of the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Centre for Social Protection at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex conducted a scoping study of social protection programmes in the Middle East and North Africa region. More details

Social Cash Transfer Programme Zambia

To develop an innovative methodology that rigorously engages with the views, experiences and perceptions of cash transfer programme beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries, and also explores the wider social and political impacts of social cash transfer programmes. More details

Changes in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) in East Africa: Evidence, Synthesis and Data Mapping

IDS have been commissioned by DfID to draw from the relevant literature and datasets on poverty, vulnerability, livelihoods and resilience in the ASALs to identify priority, long-term evidence-gaps, and make recommendations on research and data collection approaches and methodologies. More details

High Level Panel of Experts Report on Social Protection and Food Security

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) requested the HLPE to produce a report, to be presented at the 39th Session of the CFS, a study on social protection and food security. More details

Technical Assistance for the Development of Social Protection Strategy in Swaziland

In November 2012, UNDP, UNICEF and WFP organised a high-level social protection policy dialogue with the Government of Swaziland and other development partners. Subsequently, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) appointed a technical committee to develop a Joint UN Programme for Social Protection in Swaziland. The ultimate objective of the national dialogue was to generate background material towards developing a draft national policy and strategy on social protection. More details

Burundi Graduation Programme Evaluation

In December 2012, Concern Burundi launched its 'Graduation Model Programme' in two provinces in Burundi to work with extremely poor and marginalised communities. More details

CSP Conference April 2011: Social Protection for Social Justice

The Centre for Social Protection hosted a conference titled ‘Social Protection for Social Justice’ at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in Brighton, 13-15 April 2011. More details

Child Vulnerability Assessment, UNICEF Myanmar

IDS has been commissioned to analyse the most recent Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) data and write a report on child vulnerability, which can be utilized for evidence based programming and advocacy to improve children's status in Myanmar. More details

Impact Evaluation for the UNICEF SCT Project in Oromia and SNNPR

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is collaborating with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) to conduct an impact evaluation of the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme in Oromia and SNNP Regions of Ethiopia for UNICEF Ethiopia. More details

Enhancing the Productive Capacity of Extremely Poor People in Rwanda - Evaluation

IDS led the evaluation of the Concern Worldwide graduation programme in Rwanda ‘Enhancing the Productive Capacity of Extremely Poor People’. More details

Understanding the Social Protection Implications of Changing Demographics in Rwanda

In order to inform discussions of social protection policy options in the short-, medium-, and long-term, this study collected and analysed both quantitative and qualitative data on the experiences of older people in Rwanda, along with the wider literature and evidence base from the region and beyond. It also undertook a detailed policy simulation exercise to assess both the needs of older people and the impact of policy options. More details

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Use this search to display this programme's publications and filter by journal, author, country and much more.


IDS publications on international development research

Social Protection and Safety Nets in Yemen

This scoping exercise is expected to contribute to the development of WFP’s regional social protection strategy. This report on Yemen is one in a series of in-depth country case studies generated for this project. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Social Protection and Safety Nets in Iraq

The report focuses on linkages between social protection and food security in Iraq. It is expected to contribute to the development of WFP’s social protection strategy for the region. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Social Protection and Safety Nets in Sudan

This scoping exercise is expected to contribute to the development of WFP’s regional social protection strategy. This report on Sudan is one in a series of in-depth country case studies generated for this project. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Social Protection and Safety Nets in Jordan

This report focuses on Jordan’s social safety nets and resilience plans in a country that has received 2–3 million refugees during the past eight years. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Social Protection and Safety Nets in Tunisia

As a collaborative effort between the WFP OMC and the CSP, this scoping study is intended to contribute to the development of WFP’s regional social protection strategy. This report on Tunisia has been conducted via desktop review. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Social Protection and Safety Nets in Egypt

This report focuses on Egypt’s social protection system, including social safety nets, and highlights the significant institutional gaps as well as operational challenges in protecting the poor in Egypt. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Social Protection and Safety Nets in Lebanon

This report focuses on Lebanon’s social protection and stabilisation plans, which are currently facing a critical test. At present, more than one in every four people in Lebanon is a refugee, and the number of people in-country has risen by 30% in just four years. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Social Protection and Safety Nets in Iran

This report focuses on Iran’s social protection programs and safety nets and presents an overview of the social insurance programs in Iran that are the major source of social safety nets for its people. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Social Protection and Safety Nets in Palestine

This study aims to contribute to the development of WFP’s regional social protection strategy. In-depth country case-studies are being generated for several countries, and desk reviews are being conducted for several others, including Palestine. More details

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The Future of Social Protection – Where Next?

IDS Policy Briefing 106 (2015)

Social protection is one of the success stories of development policy in the early twenty-first century, leading to questions about its future direction. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Concern's Graduation Model Programme in Burundi - Final Evaluation Report

This report presents the findings of the mixed methods impact evaluation of the Concern Worldwide Terintambwe programme in two provinces of Burundi. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Realising the Right to Social Security and the Right to Food.

This paper identifies conceptual synergies and dissonances between food security and income security. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Targeting Social Transfer Programmes: Comparing Design and Implementation Errors Across Alternative Mechanisms

Journal of International Development 27.8 (2015)

An innovative cash transfer programme in northern Kenya is the first of its kind to trial three targeting mechanisms to learn about which approach is most effective at identifying the poorest households while minimising inclusion and exclusion errors. More details

Reducing poverty in the first 18 years of life: Burundi illustration

Réduire la pauvreté durant les 18 premières années de vie: Burundi

Cette illustration présente conjointement les résultats du projet de recherche sur la pauvreté infantile monétaire et multidimensionnelle ainsi que de l’évaluation du programme ‘Terintambwe’ de Concern Worldwide au Burundi. More details

Reducing poverty in the first 18 years of life: Burundi illustration

Reducing poverty in the first 18 years of life: Burundi

This illustration presents combined findings from a research project on monetary and multidimensional child poverty and the evaluation of Concern Worldwide’s ‘Terintambwe’ programme in Burundi. More details

IDS publications on international development research

48 Month Survey: Concern Worldwide's Graduation Programme in Rwanda Consolidated Analysis

This report provides the results of the research on the long term benefits of the programme Enhancing the Productive Capacity of Extremely Poor People in Rwanda using the first cohort of beneficiaries. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Working Paper 460, 'Evaluating the Targeting Effectiveness of Social Transfers: A Literature Review'.

Evaluating the Targeting Effectiveness of Social Transfers: A Literature Review

IDS Working Paper 460 (2015)

Many methodologies exist for dividing a population into those who are classified as eligible for social transfers and those who are ineligible. Popular targeting mechanisms include means testing, proxy means tests, categorical, geographic, community-based, and self-selection. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Little Cash to Large Households: Cash Transfers and Children's Care in Disadvantaged Families in Ghana

International Social Security Review 68.2 (2015)

This article considers the impact of a social cash transfer targeted at poor households – Ghana's Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme – on child well-being, quality of care and preventing children's separation from their parents. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Working Paper 453.

The Prospects and Politics of Social Protection Reform in Zambia

IDS Working Paper 453 (2015)

This paper analyses the prospects for social protection reform in Zambia under the ‘pro-poor’ government of the Patriotic Front (PF). The paper argues that the PF has been changing the development policy arena in ways that may modify domestic political structures providing more rights-based benefits especially for the extreme poor and vulnerable. It further reveals that the persistence of the clie More details

This is the front cover to IDS Bulletin 46.2, 'Graduating from Social Protection?'.

Graduating from Social Protection?

IDS Bulletin 46.2 (2015)

To most people, graduation means leaving a school or university after completing a programme of study, once the learner has acquired a set of skills that is expected to equip them for a higher-income future livelihood. More details