The imagery of movement is deeply engrained in development discourse, and particularly in relation to poverty: we commonly talk, for example, of people moving 'out of poverty' or 'up the asset ladder'. Nevertheless, these simple images hide what are now widely understood to be complex, non-linear and dynamic processes that are impacted by a bewildering array of factors from human agency and policy to the structure of the global economy and natural disasters. It is within this context that the potential role and contribution of social protection to poverty reduction must be understood. In this paper we look at a well-established genre of livestock projects through the lens of asset-based graduation. Specifically we ask what can be learned about social protection and graduation from the experience of projects built around the 'heifer-in-trust' or 'livestock-in-kind credi'’ model that specifically target poor people. What does graduation look like? Is there anything special about the 'asset-ness' of livestock in the context of social protection that either facilitates or constrains their contribution to graduation processes?
Future Agricultures Working Paper 024, August 2011, 12 pp.