Evaluations of social protection interventions across Africa often register significant success in improving household food security indicators, but little or no improvement in individual nutritional outcomes. One reason is under-coverage of poor people; another is the low value of social transfers.
This paper reviews experiences with social protection in six African countries – Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Social protection programmes are expanding and becoming institutionalised in all six countries. Bigger impacts can be achieved through ‘nutrition-sensitive’ social protection as well as nutrition-specific interventions. Most importantly, linkages must be strengthened between social protection and other social and economic sectors.