Working Paper


Transforming Livelihoods for Resilient Futures: How to Facilitate Graduation in Social Protection Programmes

Published on 1 August 2011

It is frequently claimed that the most innovative feature of social protection, in contrast to safety nets, is that it has the potential to reduce the vulnerability of poor people to the extent that they can manage moderate risk without external support. This has led to an expansion of large-scale ‘productive safety net’ programmes. The potential to reduce vulnerability so that people can move off social protection provision is popularly termed ‘graduation’.

However, the vision for graduation rests on the assumption of the existence of a large population of low-productivity, risk-prone and often poor households. Under this scenario, if risk can be underwritten through appropriate social protection then significant numbers of poor people have the potential to move out of vulnerability and extreme poverty into more productive and resilient livelihoods.


Image of Rachel Sabates-Wheeler
Rachel Sabates-Wheeler

Research Fellow

Image of Stephen Devereux
Stephen Devereux

Research Fellow

Publication details

Sabates-Wheeler, R. and Devereux, S.


About this publication

Programmes and centres
Centre for Social Protection
Research themes
Inequalities and Poverty

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