Can Social Protection Tackle Chronic Poverty?


Recent developments in social protection have shifted its focus on to risk and vulnerability. These contribute to poverty directly, but also indirectly through the response of poor households to risk. The extent to which social protection interventions could address chronic poverty is unclear. A hard and fast distinction between transient and chronic poverty suggests a bifurcation in anti-poverty policy, with social protection addressing the former, and asset transfer policies the latter. To the extent that factors behind chronic poverty extend beyond the direct and indirect impact of risk on households, social protection can at best constitute a partial response. The paper discusses these issues and concludes that 'broad' social protection can have an important role in interrupting risk and vulnerability among the chronic poor.


Barrientos, A.; Hulme, D.; Shepherd, A. Can Social Protection Tackle Chronic Poverty? European Journal of Development Research (2005) 17 (1) 8-23. [DOI: 10.1080/09578810500066456]

Can Social Protection Tackle Chronic Poverty?

Published 1 January 2005