This paper provides an overview of the evidence on the impacts of social protection in developing country contexts with a view to developing a future research agenda on social protection in low income countries. The paper summarises the evidence on the impacts of social protection on poverty reduction, human development, economic growth and social justice. The paper reviews both the published and ‘grey’ literature in this field as well as interviews and email correspondence with relevant DFID staff and UK academics specialising in this field.
Section 1 of the paper traces the emergence of social protection as an important concern within the international policy agenda and discusses how DFID’s thinking has evolved in relation to the wider development community. Section 2 compiles the evidence on the impacts of social protection on the lives of poor individuals, households and communities in developing country contexts under four broad categories relevant to DFID policy: poverty reduction, human development, economic growth and social justice. Section 3 discusses what these findings tell us about the underlying factors that help to explain the achievements and limitations of social protection interventions in the field. Finally, Section 4 uses this discussion to outline a future research and policy influencing agenda for DFID.
DFID Research and Evidence Division, DFID, London, UK, 58 pp.