Key principles of social protection in the context of climate change – World

For social protection to support climate adaptation and go beyond shock response, policy makers should consider the following principles in their assessments, planning and design:

Acknowledge uncertainty. Consider the changing nature of shocks and stressors and future vulnerability due to climate change.

Prioritize food security and nutrition considerations. To be most effective, nutrition and social protection programs need to take a holistic approach that addresses both immediate and longer-term needs

Support household long-term coping strategies rather than simply strengthening the response to shocks. Through support for livelihood opportunities arising from climate change.

Avoid mismatching. Understood as household and livelihood strategies that promote short-term adaptive capacity but insidiously affect long-term household vulnerability or adaptive capacity.

Understand the trade-offs. Policy makers should consider trade-offs between different resilience capacities supported by social protection.

Set resilience goals. Integrating resilience objectives into the programming theory of change can increase the contributions of social protection to climate change adaptation.

Improve the environment. Planning and implementation of social protection should consider any unintended ripple effects on the environment and aim for more environmentally friendly actions.

Adapt programs to contexts. There is no single social protection strategy that meets the adaptation needs of all households and communities.

Acknowledge even small contributions. Small impacts on the adaptation of individual interventions are considered relevant as long as they respect these principles.

Interdisciplinary work. Linking social protection to climate change activities and tools is crucial for a stronger impact on resilience

Joel C. Hicks