Effective Social Protection in Conflict: Findings from Sudan

This paper explores the conflict sensitivity of social protection in Sudan in its various forms since the present war started in April 2023, from locally led mutual aid to the social assistance programming of international agencies. It considers how these various interventions are both responding to, and being changed by, the conflict and associated humanitarian crisis, as well as how they interrelate. Provision of social assistance leans heavily on humanitarian actors for now, and lessons from their practice may inform and enrich a future state-led social protection system when this is rebuilt. Conflict sensitivity principles can be introduced through a number of entry points, then woven through the project cycle and the social protection delivery chain; they include systems of analysis, monitoring, and accountability to affected people, as well as capacity for adaptive management. Donors can reinforce this through their partnership, financing, and risk management strategies. Above all, external actors should recognise the fundamental importance of community-led crisis response and deepen their understanding of how it functions, and of the concerns and priorities of those involved.