The role of social protection for food and nutrition security: Examples from practice and international discussion

Countries’ interest in investing in social protection is growing – in part as a result of scientific recognition of its effectiveness for poverty reduction and food and nutrition security, for human productivity, and for investment in agricultural and off-farm production. Social protection instruments can ensure adequate food for all and enable even the poorest and most vulnerable segments of the population to acquire the essentials. If they are well designed they can improve the quality of diet, contribute to better education for women and girls, develop the productive and social infrastructure, conserve and rehabilitate natural resources and galvanise the rural economy. This desk study aims to (a) provide an overview of potential effects and corresponding evidence and studies, (b) present examples of good practice and (c) identify success factors and critical contextual conditions. These include linking agricultural and nutrition policies and programmes with social protection approaches, as well as design and implementation aspects in order to make social protection programmes nutrition-sensitive.