Working Paper 3: Shock-Responsive Social Protection in the Sahel: Community Perspectives

July 2016

This working paper provides an analytical contribution to our overall study on the actual and potential use of social protection systems to respond to environmental, social and political crises in the Sahel region of West Africa. Populations in the Sahel have long established informal mechanisms for providing support to needy households, showing solidarity based on kinship, faith or community. Many have also adapted their livelihood strategies to accommodate extremes of drought and resource limitations, notably through pastoralism. This paper asks how well these mechanisms may withstand the increasing intensity and frequency of climate shocks, and considers how their existence affects the likely effectiveness of formal humanitarian aid interventions and national social protection programmes in the Sahel. The working paper is a preparatory document for a broader case study on the Sahel, due for publication in late 2016.

Shock-Responsive Social Protection Systems Carol Watson