Social Protection

IDS research aims to address key challenges to the extension of social protection. In recent years social protection has risen rapidly up the policy agenda of many governments, donors, international organisations and NGOs. A growing body of evidence shows that measures such as cash transfer programmes positively impact people's lives, reducing poverty and vulnerability and strengthening livelihoods.

Social protection - woman on mountainside

However, there remain substantial challenges to the extension of social protection to all people which include:

  • We need to strengthen the linkages between social protection policy and multidimensional approaches to the analysis of poverty, risk and vulnerability.
  • We need open, independent and critical networks to share across regions and countries innovative work on the design, delivery and evaluation of social protection interventions.
  • We need to link research with capacity building and advocacy, in order to support campaigns for the right to social protection, and to ensure that practitioners and policymakers have the information and analytical tools to advocate for social protection effectively and credibly.

IDS also hosts the Centre for Social Protection (CSP), a global hub for research, policy analysis, and capacity building on social protection. CSP advances thinking, policy and practice in social protection by:

  • Creating knowledge about social protection policies and evaluating the impacts of social protection programmes.
  • Mobilising networks of researchers, policymakers and practitioners to exchange knowledge and advocate for change.
  • Strengthening capacities to shape and implement social protection policies.

To contact the CSP team please e-mail socialprotection@ids.ac.uk

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final External Review of the Cross-Cutting Disability Research Programme

This independent external review aimed to determine the extent to which the three year Cross-Cutting Disability Research Programme (CCDRP) in Nepal, India, Zambia, Uganda, and Kenya, has met its expected impact, outcome and outputs. More details

Future Agricultures Consortium

The DFID funded Future Agricultures Consortium is an Africa-based alliance of research organisations seeking to provide timely, high-quality and independent information and advice to improve agricultural policy and practice in Africa. 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

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

Impact Evaluation of the Productive Safety Net Programme Phase 4 (2015-2020)

The Productive Safety Net Programme "provides transfers to the food insecure population [...] in a way that prevents asset depletion at the household level and creates assets at the community level." This work comprises bi-annual impact evaluations of the PSNP utilising a mixed methods approach. IDS leads on the qualitative evaluation. More details

Impact Evaluation of the PSNP and HAPB 2012

Since 2003, the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has been implementing a new Food Security Programme (FSP). In 2009, this programme was reviewed and reformulated. More details

Position Paper - Social Protection in Fragile and Humanitarian Contexts

This position paper lays out the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) position on social protection and resilience building, with a particular emphasis on protracted crises and fragile and humanitarian contexts. 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

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

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

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

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PB150_Cover

What Are the Implications of Ageing and Demographic Change in Rwanda?

IDS Policy Briefing 150 (2018)

Having made rapid improvements in life expectancy and fertility as a result of significant investments in the health system and reductions in poverty, Rwanda faces the positive prospects of a ‘demographic dividend’. However, the projected growth in the number of older people over the next 30 years will present significant challenges. More details

Wp501_FrontCover

The Influence of Policy and Legal Frameworks on the Development of National Social Protection Systems

IDS Working Paper 501 (2017)

Social protection in low and lower middle-income countries is slowly but steadily becoming more systematised. Policy and legal frameworks are widely considered to be crucial for the creation of social protection systems. More details

Policy Brief entitled Cash Plus in Practice.  Integrating nutrition and access to services in the PSNP in Ethiopia.

Cash Plus in Practice: Integrating Nutrition and Access to Services in the PSNP in Ethiopia

The fourth phase of the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP4) was launched in 2015, introducing several innovations designed to strengthen the programme and its multiple impacts. More details

Research Report entitled Cash Plus - Integrated Nutrition and Social Cash Transfer (IN-SCT) Pilot in Ethiopia: Perceptions and Feedback from clients and service providers

Cash 'Plus' - Integrated Nutrition and Social Cash Transfer (IN-SCT) Pilot in Ethiopia: Perceptions and Feedback from Clients and Service Providers

The Integrated Nutrition Social Cash Transfer (IN-SCT) pilot project is embedded within phase 4 of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme phase 4 (PSNP4), and is being implemented in four PSNP woredas, two in Oromia region and two in SNNPR. u More details

IDS publications on international development research

How to Make 'Cash Plus' Work: Linking Cash Transfers to Services and Sectors

The broad-ranging benefits of cash transfers are now widely recognized. However, the evidence base highlights that they often fall short in achieving longer-term and second-order impacts related to nutrition, learning outcomes and morbidity. More details

This is the front cover of the Midline Report entitled 'Evaluation of the UNICEF Social Cash Transfer Pilot Programme in SNNPR, Ethiopia'

Evaluation of the UNICEF Social Cash Transfer Pilot Programme in SNNPR, Ethiopia. Midline Report Final

Midline Report (2017)

This report presents midline findings for the Integrated Nutrition Social Cash Transfer (IN-SCT) pilot project in SNNPR in Ethiopia. More details

Wp489_FrontCover

Shame, Poverty and Social Protection

IDS Working Paper 489 (2017)

Despite long-standing conceptual considerations of shame in understanding poverty and debates about its moral, social and emotional qualities, the role of shame in poverty reduction policies remains largely unexplored. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Linking Taxation and Social Protection: Evidence on Redistribution and Poverty Reduction in Ethiopia

ICTD Working Paper 61 (2017)

This paper aims to jointly assess the distributional effect of taxes and transfers, through social protection, using Ethiopia as a case study. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Improving Child Wellbeing and Care in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Role of Social Protection

Children and Youth Services Review 73 (2016)

This article presents findings from cross-country qualitative research regarding the impact of social protection on loss of parental care, support to foster or kinship care and quality of care and wellbeing in Sub-Saharan Africa. More details

Wp482_FrontCover

Strengthening Citizenship: Social Grants and the State–Citizen Relationship in South Africa

IDS Working Paper 482 (2016)

This study uses a citizenship lens to consider the extent to which social grants strengthen or weaken the state–citizen relationship, examining the case of the Child Support Grant in South Africa. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Sustaining Impacts: Concern Worldwide's Graduation Programme in Rwanda

This briefing paper is based on the final evaluation report of the 'Graduation Programme', in the Southern Province of Rwanda. More details

IDS Policy Briefing 123 Front Cover

Towards Mutual Learning with the Rising Powers

IDS Policy Briefing 123 (2016)

Mutual learning is emerging as a new way of talking about the ‘how’ of development cooperation, particularly in contexts of rapid change, with countries increasingly recognising that they have much to learn from each other’s experience. More details

Front cover of IDS Evidence Report 202

Building Mutual Learning between the Rising Powers

IDS Evidence Report 202 (2016)

This Evidence Report provides a summary account of the Mutual Learning research initiative at the Institute of Development Studies, carried out from 2012 to 2014 as part of the Rising Powers in International Development programme. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Accessing the ‘Right’ Kinds of Material and Symbolic Capital: the Role of Cash Transfers in Reducing Adolescent School Absence and Risky Behaviour in South Africa

The Journal of Development Studies 52.8 (2016)

This article investigates how well South Africa's Child Support Grant (CSG) responds to the material and psychosocial needs of adolescents, and the resultant effects on schooling and risky behaviour. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Is Targeting Ethical?

Global Social Policy 16.2 (2016)

Targeting as a mechanism for allocating scarce public resources efficiently and equitably has recently come under sustained attack, for both pragmatic reasons and ethical reasons. Universalism is offered as a fairer and more inclusive alternative, although universal programmes are sometimes erroneously conflated with categorically targeted programmes. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Working Paper 465, 'Can Social Protection Increase Resilience to Climate Change? A Case Study of Oportunidades in Rural Yucatan, Mexico'.

Can Social Protection Increase Resilience to Climate Change? A Case Study of Oportunidades in Rural Yucatan, Mexico

IDS Working Paper 465 (2016)

This paper examines the linkages between social protection and resilience to climate change among poor rural households. To date there is a very limited understanding of the potential role of social protection programmes in contributing to an increase in resilience of the rural poor with respect to climate change. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Social Protection for Enhanced Food Security in sub-Saharan Africa

Food Policy 60 (2016)

This paper identifies several positive synergies between social protection programmes and enhanced entitlements to food. More details

IDS publications on international development research

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

This final evaluation report on the 'Enhancing the Productive Capacity of Extremely Poor People' project in Rwanda summarises and compares the findings from several rounds of surveys as well as qualitative fieldwork. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Research Report 80.

Social Protection and Safety Nets in the Middle East and North Africa

IDS Research Report 80 (2016)

Countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region face a number of challenges, including ongoing civil unrest with associated displacement of people and disruption of services, stagnant economic growth and high unemployment, food insecurity and rising malnutrition, exacerbated by import dependence and natural disasters. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Evaluation Of The Social Cash Transfers Pilot Programme, Tigray Region, Ethiopia – Endline Report

The International Food Policy Research Institute, together with its collaborators, the Institute of Development Studies and the Department of Economics, Mekelle University, has produced this fourth report on the evaluation of the Social Cash Transfer Pilot Programme (SCTPP) implemented by the Bureau of Social and Labour Affairs (BoLSA), regional Government of Tigray. . More details

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Poverty is also a psychosocial problem

20 Nov 2017
By Keetie Roelen

Global and national leadership in nutrition

12 Sep 2016
By Nicholas Nisbett

Graduation – how to do it responsibly

24 May 2016
By Stephen Devereux, Keetie Roelen, Rachel Sabates-Wheeler

Putting children at the centre of social protection in Nepal

23 May 2016
By Keetie Roelen, Helen Karki Chettri
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