Social Protection and Food Security Indicators: An inquiry through data from 10 household budget surveys

There is growing consensus that social protection constitutes an effective response to poverty and food insecurity in developing countries. While the literature on the conceptual linkages between social protection and food security is abundant, there is little data allowing to analyse it in a comprehensive manner. The aim of the paper is to provide empirical evidence on the association between social protection systems and food security conditions in selected developing countries, which will serve as a basis for building a global data set for monitoring and harmonizing indicators on these two thematic areas. Using the methodology of the ADePT Food Security and Social Protection modules and the classification of the World Bank’s Social Protection Atlas (ASPIRE), we cross-tabulate indicators derived from ten Household Budget Survey to capture heterogeneity across regions. In many instances, data highlight inadequate sampling and collection techniques. Several areas for improvement are identified, especially on in-kind transfers and social assistance programs. Higher public transfers are generally associated with lower food security, while private transfers – mainly foreign remittances – are not.