Reflections on How Social Protection and Social Welfare Policies are Unfolding in Lowand Middle-Income Countries around the World

Social protection in the form of cash transfers to reduce poverty and inequality is described as the “big idea” that emerged in the Global South over the past three decades. This article reflects on the direction that social protection is taking and reviews its achievements. A key challenge is how social protection policies are delinked from a wider system of social welfare and development programs in low- and middle-income countries. Drawing on lessons learned from cross-country studies, pointers are provided on how to overcome this bifurcation, including ways of strengthening social development theory, policy, and practice