DFAT Social Protection Framework

Social protection for DFAT focuses on publicly funded initiatives that provide regular and predictable cash or in-kind transfers to individuals, households and communities to reduce poverty and vulnerability and foster resilience and empowerment.

By supporting social protection the Australian aid program can more effectively achieve many of its development objectives and contribute to achieving the MDGs. High quality monitoring and evaluation has been a hallmark of social protection. Robust and reliable evidence across the developing world shows that social protection helps reduce poverty and malnutrition and improve human development. For example, in Mexico’s Oportunidades program, after only three years poor rural Mexican children increased their school enrolment, had more balanced diets and received more medical attention. In Bangladesh, in BRAC’s Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty Reduction program, women participants who were eating below the minimum daily calorie requirements increased their calorie intake by 29 per cent.

This framework outlines DFAT’s approach to development assistance for social protection and complements—but does not replace—existing thematic strategies. It provides a common definition, good practice principles and consolidated results. It explains how social protection supports priorities in other sectors like education and health by improving access to services and opportunities, helping the poor escape poverty. To sustainably maintain these results Australia will support partner governments to establish or improve systems for social protection.