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

GSDRC

GSDRC provide high quality, timely knowledge products to support international development planning, policymaking and other activities area. This includes a document library, a research helpdesk and email bulletins 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

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IDS publications on international development research

Researching the Linkages Between Social Protection and Children’s Care in Rwanda

This research investigates the links between the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP), child well-being, children's care and family reunification. More details

Non-IDS publication

Good Practices for Effective Participation in Social Protection Design and Implementation

This short article looks at how participation can provide some answers to overcoming the tendency for elite capture in social protection programmes. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Sticks or Carrots? Conditional Cash Transfers and Their Effect on Child Abuse and Neglect: Researchers Observe Both Benefits and Harms of CCT Programs

Child Abuse & Neglect 38.3 (2014)

In recent years, conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs have gained unprecedented popularity in the fight against poverty, and can now be found across the globe. Experience is most long-standing and widespread in Latin America, with almost every country in the region running a CCT program. More details

This is the cover to CDI Practice Paper 6, 'Evaluating Outside the Box: Mixing Methods in Analysing Social Protection Programmes'.

Evaluating Outside the Box: Mixing Methods in Analysing Social Protection Programmes

CDI Practice Paper 6 (2014)

This CDI Practice Paper reflects on the methodological implications of operationalising an expanded framework for evaluating social protection programmes. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Disability Inclusion in Social Protection

While people with disabilities have higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities, many countries have tried to address this by providing social protection to poor people with disabilities and their households. More details

Teaser image for Policy Briefing 49

Towards Gender Equality with Care-sensitive Social Protection

IDS Policy Briefing 49 (2014)

Unpaid care work and social protection are intrinsically linked. In order to address this challenge, policies must recognise the value of women’s work, shift the burden of care work away from women and families and improve access to the vital services that will help improve women and girls’ wellbeing. More details

Promoting and Protecting Religious Diversity in the Middle East

Promoting and Protecting Religious Diversity in the Middle East

IDS Rapid Response Briefing 5 (2013)

In the aftermath of regime ruptures in the Arab world and with the political ascendancy of Islamist groups, there has been a mass exodus of citizens belonging to religious minorities from the region. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Social Protection and Climate Change

Paper prepared for the OECD's DAC Task Team on Social Protection More details

This is the image for IDS Working Paper 434, 'Towards a Quantifiable Measure of Resilience'.

Towards a Quantifiable Measure of Resilience

IDS Working Paper 434 (2013)

The objective of this paper is twofold. First it illustrates and discusses some of the challenges related to the measurement of resilience by reviewing some of the most recently published and grey literature on resilience in relation to food security. More details

This is the image for IDS Working Paper 431, 'Evaluating Outside the Box: An Alternative Framework for Analysing Social Protection Programmes'.

Evaluating Outside the Box: An Alternative Framework for Analysing Social Protection Programmes

IDS Working Paper 431 (2013)

The evidence base on social protection programmes is expanding rapidly, largely pointing towards their positive impacts. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Politics of Reducing Malnutrition: Building Commitment and Accelerating Progress

The Lancet 382.9891 (2013)

In the past 5 years, political discourse about the challenge of undernutrition has increased substantially at national and international levels and has led to stated commitments from many national governments, international organisations, and donors. More details

Global Climate Change Justice: Toward a Risk-Adjusted Social Floor

IDS Working Paper 426 (2013)

Addressing climate change from social justice and human rights perspectives is a global challenge, and international negotiations dealing with climate change need to incorporate such concerns. More details

This is the image for IDS Policy Briefing 39, 'Promoting Inclusive Social Protection in the Post-2015 Framework'.

Promoting Inclusive Social Protection in the Post-2015 Framework

IDS Policy Briefing 39 (2013)

This policy briefing, part of the special MDG series, examines how the post 2015 development framework should promote ‘Inclusive Social Protection’. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Sustainable Graduation from Social Protection Programmes

Development and Change 44.4 (2013)

Efforts to reduce extreme poverty by assisting poor people to cross income or asset thresholds are receiving increasing attention in social protection programming. More details

State Provision of Social Protection to International Migrants: The Relevance of Social Protection Frameworks

IDS Working Paper 424 (2013)

How relevant are social protection frameworks to understanding the provision of social protection to international migrants? More details

IDS publications on international development research

Squeezed - Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility, Year 1 Results

The first year results of a four-year study on how food price volatility affects everyday life find important changes in people's wellbeing and development. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Squeezed - Highlights from Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility, Year 1 Results

This document is the highlights report for the first year results of a four-year study on how food price volatility affects everyday life find important changes in people's wellbeing and development. More details

This is the image for IDS Policy Briefing 34, 'Evaluating Social Protection Policies: Lessons from Brazil'.

Evaluating Social Protection Policies: Lessons from Brazil

IDS Policy Briefing 34 (2013)

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is considered a valuable mechanism for improving the quality of public policy and has become politically important for policymakers. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Trajectories of Social Protection in Africa

Development Southern Africa 30.1 (2013)

Social protection in contemporary Africa is the product of several strands of social policy, from European social security systems to humanitarian relief interventions. This article argues instead for a ‘social contract’ approach. More details

Non-IDS publication

Promoting Resilient Livelihoods through Adaptive Social Protection: Lessons from 124 Programmes in South Asia

Development Policy Review (2013)

Relying on 124 agricultural programmes implemented in 5 countries in Asia, this paper considers how social protection, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction are being brought together, and explores the potential gains of these linkages. More details