European Commission - SPaN Guidance Package


Welcome to the European Commission’s community page on Social Protection across the Humanitarian-Development Nexus (SPaN).

This page aims to contribute to a better understanding of the conditions under which humanitarian action and social protection can coexist, converge and be mutually supportive by:

  • Providing the knowledge material produced and disseminated as part of the Guidance Package (GP) prepared by the European Commission to examine social protection as an effective short- and long-term response to multivariate shocks, protracted crises and forced displacement;
  • Exchange emerging evidence and experiences in discussion with you and SPaN knowledge management and technical experts.

Background information

The SPaN initiative is jointly lead by three Directorates General (DG): DG for International Partnerships (INTPA, former DEVCO), DG for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and the DG for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR).  

Peer-to-peer activities of this initiative aim to facilitate knowledge exchange and outline basic principles (rationale, opportunities, challenges, underlying principles, etc.) with the objective of supporting the community of practice of social protection experts in better addressing specific operational challenges in shock-sensitive social protection programmes. In addition to this online community on, a dedicated group on offers the public a direct link between learning and performance from different teams and units across European development agents. In response to COVID-19, a page with the summary of relevant links is available here.


SPaN Guidance Package:




Think Pieces:


Case Studies:







Operational Notes:







SPaN Launch Event (20 May 2019) Supporting People through Crises: Social Protection across the Humanitarian-Development Nexus

SPaN Event record (January 2019) European Union Thematic Seminar - Social Protection across the Humanitarian-Development Nexus


European Commission´s Policy Frameworks

Communication on the Global EU response to COVID-19

EU Global Response to COVID-19

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the EU´s Humanitarian Action: new challenges, same principles - 10 March 2021

Communication on Forced Displacement and Development (COM(2016)234)

The European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid

European Agenda on Migration (COM (2015) 240)

The New Pact on Migration and Asylum - (COM (2020) 609 final)

The New European Consensus on Development (2017/C 210/01)

Strategic Approach to Resilience in the EU´s External Action  

Social Protection in European Union Development Cooperation

Action Plan on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (SWD (2016) 205)

Farm to Fork Strategy - for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system (COM (2020) 381)

Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument – Global Europe (2021-2027)


Social Protection Systems

Supporting Social Protection Systems – Tools and Methods Series Concept Paper 4

Social Protection

Transformative Change through Social Protection?

Beyond cash transfers: Social protection in fragile contexts

Social protection and humanitarian actors: Q&A with Monique Pariat, Director-General of ECHO

Europe’s priceless know-how on social protection and employment

Others: Country cases and projects

Expanding Turkey´s social protection systems to refugees

From the ground up: The long road to social protection in Somalia

Yemen: Community-based support in times of war

Partnership for Prospects: Helping Syrian refugees find employment in the Middle East

Studies Show Benefits of Child Support Grants

Overcoming Social Inequality: Highlights from Brazil and Honduras with EUROsociAL

Building Resilience: The EU´s approach – Examples of projects