Social protection as a pathway to sustaining peace

There has instead been limited operational research regarding social protection’s contributions to peace. In order to start addressing this gap, this paper discusses how social protection can sustain peace efforts by understanding peace not as an outcome but, rather, as an ongoing process. The paper argues that the contributions that social protection can make to peace can be divided between two overlapping scenarios: “working in conflict” and “working on conflict”. While the former refers to efforts aimed at offsetting the impacts of conflict, the latter relates to interventions that intend to deliberately address its underlying drivers. The working paper also recognizes that social protection interventions in a conflict-affected context can potentially be harmful and fuel social tensions in the absence of adequate consideration of local power dynamics. It therefore calls for social protection strategies and programmes to be conflict-sensitive – beyond the “do no harm” – to make explicit contributions to peace.