Journal Article

Food Policy 60

Social Protection for Enhanced Food Security in sub-Saharan Africa

Published on 1 April 2016

This paper identifies several positive synergies between social protection programmes and enhanced entitlements to food. One function of social protection is to manage or reduce vulnerability. Several instruments are reviewed – weather-indexed insurance, public works programmes, emergency food aid and buffer stock management – which aim to stabilise income and access to food across good and bad years, or between the harvest and the hungry season. Other social protection instruments aim to raise household income and crop production, for instance agricultural input subsidies or input trade fairs, as well as public works projects that construct or maintain physical infrastructure such as rural feeder roads.

This paper also argues that entitlements to food can be strengthened if social justice principles are introduced to the design and delivery of social protection programmes. Examples reviewed include rights-based approaches such as employment guarantee schemes, community-based targeting and demand-driven accountability mechanisms. The paper concludes by arguing for a comprehensive approach to social protection that will achieve sustainable food security, by combining interventions that stabilise income or food production with those that raise income or food production, and are designed and delivered in ways that enhance social justice.


Image of Stephen Devereux

Stephen Devereux

Research Fellow

Publication details

published by
Devereux, D.
Food Policy, volume 60


About this publication

Programmes and centres
Centre for Social Protection

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