Social protection and anticipatory action

Social protection policies and programmes aim to reduce poverty and vulnerability, and are key to long term, country-led strategies, to help vulnerable groups build resilience through: social assistance programmes using cash transfers and cash for work; social insurance such as pensions and unemployment allowance; and through other services such as nutrition, healthcare or employment services. 

With intensifying climate events, the role of social protection in responding to climate change by minimising, averting and adapting to the impacts of climate change becomes increasingly important. Social protection systems can be considered as large risk management tools which can protect people from disaster impacts, with the potential to scale up beyond the capacity of humanitarian caseloads. 

By linking national early warning systems to existing social protection systems to roll out a range of early actions, it is possible to provide faster, more sustainable, predictable, coordinated, and cost-effective assistance. For instance, a predictable and well-designed cash transfer program can scale up in advance of a drought peak, and deliver cash to groups pre-selected as particularly vulnerable to drought impacts, thus giving them the chance to plan for, and deal with the forecasted shock, and help them to avoid negative coping strategies.

Linking Nepal’s social protection programmes with anticipatory action

Nepal has a diverse portfolio of social protection programmes and humanitarian organizations are finding creative ways to use these for anticipatory action and disaster-response activities.

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Anticipatory action, shock-responsive social protection and cash transfers in ASEAN: what are we learning and where do we go next?

Anticipatory action and shock-responsive social protection are currently enjoying centre stage in humanitarian and development discussions. But what we have learned in recent years – and where do we …

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Anticipatory action in Mozambique.

Integrating shock-responsive social protection into anticipatory action protocols ahead of a drought in Mozambique

In recent years, Mozambique has made significant advances in anticipating the occurrence of drought. This blog explains the steps taken to achieve these.

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Philippines: Simulating with Cash Early Actions & Social Protection for Flood

This blog post shares lessons from the implementation of the 2-day Forecast-based Financing (FbF) simulation exercise (simex) on 18-20 May, to test two early actions - fish harvesting from ponds and …

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Forecast-based action and shock-responsive social protection in Nepal

This project aims to build a replicable mechanism for anticipatory action based on experiences and evidence collected and tested on the ground, strengthening the capacity of the Government of Nepal …

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How social protection can help tackle the risks faced by climate-vulnerable populations

This report argues that we must invest in social protection to ensure those most affected by climate change can strengthen their resilience capacity and avoid the worst impacts of disasters.

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Exchange Workshop on Inclusive Anticipatory Humanitarian Action: Vulnerable Groups and Social Protection

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Do you have a question or want to share resources?

There is a growing need to expand our knowledge on how to best implement an anticipatory approach to enable shock-response social protection systems. Please get in touch with us if you would like to share knowledge resources on this topic or engage in knowledge exchange activities.

Sayanti Sengupta

Technical Advisor, Social Protection and Climate

Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

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Anita Auerbach (née Yeomans)

Cash-based Early Action and Social Protection

German Red Cross

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Photo: Cyclone Idai, Mozambique, aftermath, 15-16 March 2019 (Denis Onyodi: IFRC/DRK/Climate Centre)