Social Protection in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan
Avenues of Assistance for the Vulnerable
A Research Study on Social Protection in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan
The research study has been conducted by the Refugee
Affected and Hosting Areas Programme (RAHA) in
collaboration with the Sustainable Development Policy
Institute (SDPI). One of the main components of RAHA,
which is being implemented in six districts each of Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan by the respective Planning and
Development Departments, is improved social protection
among co-existing host communities.
Following a rights-based approach, the programme aims to
strengthen and extend social protection schemes and
mechanisms in Pakistan and, in turn, improve social living
conditions of target communities. Under this outcome,
special focus is given to the more vulnerable segments such as
women, children, the disabled and the elderly.
RAHA conducted the research study with a view to planning and undertaking more informed
interventions around social protection. The study maps out existing social protection
programmes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan; carries out an analysis of these
programmes, evaluating them on a set of pre-determined criteria; and recommends how to
extend them to better service vulnerable segments of communities in the 12 RAHA target
districts: Buner, Haripur, Lower Dir, Nowshera, Peshawar, Swabi in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; and
Chagai, Killa Abdullah, Killa Saifullah, Loralai, Pishin, Quetta in Balochistan.
Avenues of Assistance for the Vulnerable defines ‘social protection’ as: social assistance (noncontributory cash or in-kind transfers and welfare services); social insurance (contributory
schemes that reduce risks associated with old age, disability, unemployment, sickness, etc.); and
labour market programmes (unemployment benefits, employment generation schemes, skills
development and training initiatives, etc.).
The study adapts criteria for evaluation of social safety nets in line with RAHA’s objectives; and
ranks all national and provincial social development programmes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and
Balochistan as scoring high, medium or low on the dimensions of: (i) targeting efficiency; (ii)
extent of programme coverage; (iii) degree of ease of access; (iv) percentage of programme
expenditure dedicated to benefits; (v) adequacy of support; (vi) grievance redressal; (vii) extent
of self/progressive financing and sustainability; (viii) exit mechanisms’ (ix) degree of impact on
the MDGs; (x) and programme potential to be extended to the RAHA target group.
The study finds that most of the government-run social protection schemes are not welltargeted and are increasingly becoming financially unsustainable, relying on budget allocations
in an environment of increasing fiscal stringency. Also, some of the leading programmes, such
as Zakat and the Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal, have too many small components and tend to thinly
spread their resources across a wide spectrum of interventions. The study further notes that,
following the inception of the Benazir Income Support Programme five years ago, the trend is to
move towards large-scale targeted programmes, relying on largely objective criteria.