The Better Assistance in Crises (BASIC) Research programme seeks to better understand how to strengthen routine social assistance in the most difficult protracted crises – places where compounding shocks such as climate change, conflict and displacement complicate the delivery, sustainability and outcomes of programming.
This paper reviews the contours of global and national debates, and the concepts that are key to informing research on social assistance in contexts of protracted crises. It focuses on three fields: social protection, humanitarian assistance, and climate adaptation and responsiveness. It then introduces the specific policy and programming areas and countries that BASIC Research will focus on, based on the identification of knowledge gaps in the inception phase of the research. The paper then develops a research framework for BASIC Research, identifying priority research questions and thematic areas.
In line with the aspiration of global donors that any social assistance – including that delivered by humanitarian actors – should build longer-term policies and systems that are increasingly embedded in state-led and state-funded provision, BASIC Research will: examine the complementarities, tensions and linkages between social assistance various actors provide to tackle the multiple and intersecting challenges of climate shocks, conflict and displacement; assess existing capacities, systems and approaches for delivering social assistance; and explore how social assistance is intertwined with politics and economies.