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Social Protection Concepts and Approaches: Implications for Policy and Practice in International Development

Working papers

Written by Andrew Norton

This paper reviews contemporary conceptual developments regarding the meaning and importance of social protection, and identifies ways in which international agencies could contribute to improving the coverage and effectiveness of social protection as an integral component of poverty reduction strategies.

Social protection deals with both the absolute deprivation and vulnerabilities of the poorest, and also with the need of the currently non-poor for security in the face of shocks and life-cycle events. The ‘public’ character of this response may be governmental or non-governmental, or may involve a combination of institutions from both sectors.

It is proposed that the overall rationale for pursuing social protection is to promote dynamic, cohesive and stable societies through increased equity and security.

Andy Norton, Tim Conway, Mick Foster