Alex Arnall: Adaptive Social Protection: Mapping the Evidence and Policy Context in the Agriculture Sector in South Asia

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Presentation at the STEPS Conference 2010 - Pathways to Sustainability: Agendas for a new politics of environment, development and social justice …

Presentation at the STEPS Conference 2010 - Pathways to Sustainability: Agendas for a new politics of environment, development and social justice

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  • Working Paper This study is one component of a wider ongoing programme of work in IDS on this subject We are now starting a 2.5 year DFID-funded Programme on this – looking at ASP in the context of agriculture and food security in three case study countries – Bangladesh, India and Ethiopia Structure 1. Introduce the concept 2. Present findings from a recent mapping study 3. Implications of this work and how we are taking it forward
  • This is our starting point All grown to prominence recently
  • Each approach is associated with a framework and set of associated concepts I am going to highlight just one of these – social protection as this can mean different things to different people Taking a wide interpretation of social protection – one that takes into account vulnerability reduction and not just vulnerability management
  • They have developed in relatively separate fields of policy and practice But there are connections Each concept associated with a continuum of interventions – because of these similarities we can match them up
  • Central concern – risks that people face – not up to the job if implemented individually? Adaptive Social Protection – ASP refers to a series of measures which aims to build resilience of the poorest and most vulnerable people to climate change by combining elements of SP, DRR and CCA in programmes and projects Many ways of looking at this challenge. Our new Program is concerned with: - What SP can do to build the resilience of poor and vulnerable people to climate variability and change; and what the implications for climate variability and change for SP systems
  • Interested in promotion and transformation – longer-term perspective that tackles underlying vulnerability Incorporation of a rights-based rationale
  • These are the theoretical/conceptual links – what practice? To get a better understanding: mapping study – introduce slide We also looked at East Africa I am going to briefly address questions 1 and 2 in this presentation
  • High –level study Approach… Methods… Sample…
  • Whole series of questions looking at different country contexts – we don’t have time for these Linked to donor activity; policy environment in each country Go into Bangladesh in a bit more detail at the end
  • Where integration is occurring, in what ways are such programmes and projects promoting resilience amongst the poorest and most vulnerable people? Some clues provided here – as integration occurs, the emphasis placed on different categories of objectives changes Projects are operating over a longer timeframe and have broad poverty and vulnerability reduction goals at their centres
  • How do that? Because they are fairly common – build on existing SP/SP-DRR projects to take a longer-term view


  • 1. Adaptive Social Protection: Mapping the Evidence and Policy Context in the Agriculture Sector in South Asia Alex Arnall Mark Davies Tom Tanner STEPS Conference 2010: Pathways to Sustainability 23-25 September 2010
  • 2. Three approaches to vulnerability reduction Social Protection describes all public and private initiatives that provide income or consumption transfers to the poor, protect the vulnerable against livelihood risks, and enhance the social status and rights of the marginalised; with the overall objective of reducing the economic and social vulnerability of poor, vulnerable and marginalised groups (Devereux and Sabates-Wheeler 2004). Climate change adaptation is the process or outcome of a process that leads to a reduction in harm or risk of harm, or realisation of benefits associated with climate variability and climate change (UNDP 2005). Disaster risk reduction describes the systematic efforts to analyse and manage the causal factors of disasters, including through reduced exposure to hazards, lessened vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment, and improved preparedness for adverse events (UNISDR 2009).
  • 3. Social protection activities Devereux and Sabates-Wheeler 2006
  • 4. Matching Continuums
    • All address social sources of vulnerability
    • All attempt to reduce risks to development pathways
    • All relatively untested as approaches to poverty reduction
    Tackle vulnerability drivers Improve coping following shock/stress Social Protection Transformative Promotive Preventative Protective Disaster Risk Management Managing uncertainty to build disaster resilience Reducing Risk Sharing/ Transferring disaster risk Managing disaster impacts Adaptation Reducing underlying vulnerability Managing climate risks Managing climate impacts
  • 5. The concept: “Adaptive Social Protection” (ASP) CCA is characterised by tackling vulnerability to changing distribution of extreme climatic events. SP can increase resilience to disasters or rebuild assets after a disaster. SP can support adaptive capacity through building assets, supporting livelihoods, or increasing the rights of the vulnerable . Social protection Climate change adaptation Disaster risk reduction ‘ Adaptive social protection’
  • 6. ASP in practice SP categories of objectives SP instruments Adaptation and DRR benefits Protection (coping strategies) – social service protection – basic social transfers (food/cash) – pension schemes – public works programmes – protection of those most vulnerable to climate risks, with low levels of adaptive capacity Preventive (coping strategies) – social transfers – livelihood diversification – weather-indexed crop insurance – prevents damaging coping strategies as a result of risks to weather-dependent livelihoods Promotive (building adaptive capacity) – social transfers – access to credit – asset transfers/protection – starter packs (drought/floodresistant) – access to common property resources – public works programmes – promotes resilience through livelihood diversification and security to withstand climate related shocks – promotes opportunities arising from climate change Transformative (building adaptive capacity) – promotion of minority rights – anti-discrimination campaigns – social funds – transforms social relations to combat discrimination underlying social and political vulnerability
  • 7. Mapping the evidence/policy context in the south Asian agricultural sector
    • Ways in which approaches are being integrated in development policy and practice.
    • To what extent is integration occurring?
    • 2. Where integration is occurring, in what ways are such programmes and projects intended to promote resilience amongst the poorest and most vulnerable people?
    • 3. What is the nature of the policy environment in which these social policy frameworks are being brought together, and which are the main organisations and institutions involved?
  • 8. Case study approach
    • Projects and programmes designed to build resilient rural livelihoods in agriculture sector in South Asia.
    • Examination of standard literature, programme evaluations, and policy documents. Interviews conducted with key stakeholders.
    • South Asia:
      • 124 projects and programmes based in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan
      • 46 stakeholder interviews.
  • 9. Degree of integration
    • SP is the most common approach to vulnerability reduction.
    • Where SP is being integrated, it is mainly associated with DRR.
    • Connections are being made between DRR and CCA.
    • Bangladesh and India have highest percentage of projects combining three disciplines. Afghanistan, Nepal and Pakistan have almost none.
  • 10. Integration and SP measures
    • As a general rule, as integration of the disciplines increases, the degree of reliance on protective SP measures decreases. Conversely, there is greater emphasis on preventive and transformative measures.
  • 11. Implications
    • ASP provides one way of moving beyond immediate ‘vulnerability management’ towards sustainable ‘vulnerability reduction’
    • Programmes promoting climate-resilient livelihoods should aim to integrate SP, DRR and CCA disciplines.
    • Build on existing SP and SP-DRR projects.
    • Innovative approaches to promoting climate resilient livelihoods: multi-disciplinary and rights-based.
    • Country disparities and designing regional-level strategies and policy interventions appropriate to national level programming.
    • Unique country circumstances and application of lessons to other contexts