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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Photo of Camilla Lindstrom More details

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

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Photo of Dolf te Lintelo More details

Photo of Edoardo Massett More details

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Photo of Gerry Bloom, Research Fellow of the Knowledge Technology and Society team More details

Jeremy Lind More details

Photo of Jerker Edstrom More details

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

Photo of Matteo Caravani, IDS PhD student More details

IDS staff or research student More details

Photo of Naomi Hossain, IDS Research Fellow More details

Photo of Patricia Justino, IDS Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Research Fellow More details

IDS staff or research student More details

Photo of Rachel Sabates Wheeler More details

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Rômulo Paes de Sousa, Director of the World Centre for Sustainable Development, the Rio+ Centre and Senior International Associate with the IDS Rising Powers in International Development programme More details

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

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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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IDS publications on international development research

Cash for Care: Making Social Protection Work for Children’s Care and Well-being

The aim of this research is to start to fill knowledge gaps on the linkages between social protection and children's care through primary qualitative research on government implemented social protection programmes in three Sub-Saharan African countries: Ghana, Rwanda and South Africa. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Improving Social Protection's Response to Child Poverty and Vulnerability in Nepal - Policy Brief

Save the Children Policy Brief (2016)

Nepal can be considered at the forefront of social protection compared to other low-income countries, being one of the first to have introduced a social pension, implementing a set of nationally funded social protection schemes and in the process of finalising a National Framework for Social Protection (NFSP). More details

IDS publications on international development research

Researching the Linkages Between Social Protection and Children's Care in South Africa

This research investigates the impact of the Child Support and Foster Child grants in South Africa on children's care. It examines the effect of these grants on the quality of children's care and on decisions about who will provide care to children. It also explores implementation issues regarding both grants and proposes options for making support more effective and efficient. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Improving Social Protection's Response to Child Poverty and Vulnerability in Nepal - Report

Save the Children Report (2016)

This report aims to assess to what extent social protection in Nepal addresses child poverty and vulnerability and can be considered to be 'child-sensitive', and how it can be strengthened to further improve children's lives. 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 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 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 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

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 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

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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

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‘Who Cares’: Reflections on the International-level Advocacy Work of the Unpaid Care Work Programme (2012–2015)

IDS Evidence Report 157 (2015)

At the end of September 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be launched. Building on the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were officially established in 2000, the SDGs will potentially have 17 goals – one of which was explicitly absent from the MDGs: the unpaid care work of women and girls. More details