Shock-responsive social protection systems: Policy brief series

How can social protection systems be used in disasters, as a complement to, or substitute for, humanitarian assistance?



  • Stephanie Brockerhoff

We led a two-year research project investigating this question, looking at the role of social protection in both mitigating the impact of large-scale shocks and supporting households after a crisis hits. We identify factors that can help and hinder effective disaster response, and consider how social protection actors can best work together with others working in humanitarian assistance and disaster risk management (DRM).

In our Mozambique policy brief, we present findings from fieldwork conducted in the country between September 2015 and June 2016.

In our Sahel policy brief, we explore the regional approach to addressing a specific crisis, that of food insecurity in the Sahel, and consider whether and how social protection contributes to that response. The six countries of focus are Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal.

The policy brief for Lesotho analyses the extent to which social protection interventions and systems formed part of the response by the Government of Lesotho and its development partners to the El-Niño-induced drought and food insecurity of 2015–16. It also explores the potential for using these programmes and systems to address future shocks. A summary briefing note is published separately.

Our policy brief on factors affecting the usefulness of existing social protection databases in disaster preparedness and response, specifically focuses on the characteristics of existing social protection databases that enhance or limit their potential use in emergencies. It draws on examples from across five of the project’s case studies: Lesotho, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Many social protection interventions hold data on the households or individuals they support.

Areas of expertise