Social protection across the humanitarian-development nexus
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Guidance Package on Social Protection across the Humanitarian-Development Nexus

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Zena Mouawad20 February 2019

Social protection is a policy instrument with robust, flexible and widely available delivery mechanisms. In this respect social protection is generating further political interest as it allows for the rapid channeling of support to people most in need of assistance, and mitigates the effects of humanitarian disasters by strengthening targeted beneficiaries coping mechanisms. 

Social protection also holds significant potential to transform short-term humanitarian interventions into development processes to achieve resilience, peace, stabilisation and economic growth in countries in crises. But while a wealth of knowledge exists on providing social protection in relatively stable environments, research on how to bridge the humanitarian and development interventions in crisis contexts is still relatively new.

In order to fill this gap, the European Commission (EC) created the Guidance Package (GP) on Social Protection across the Humanitarian-Development Nexus (SPaN). It results from an inter-service initiative led by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR).

The GP provides concrete and practical guidance to social protection as an effective short- and long-term response to multivariate shocks, protracted crises and displacement based on the current body of knowledge, including brief definitions, and processes of social protection approaches in most challenging settings. The variety of contexts covered by the GP also includes countries where social protection systems are nationally led and those without any structures in place.

Designed to provide insights and strategies for humanitarian and development staff,  the GP is made up of a reference document, thematic notes, country case studies, and think pieces on latest research and policy development. The GP is considered a ´living tool´ that brings together experts and views from across the nexus with the aim to continually strengthen the value of the package with experiences from the field.

In addition to events organised by SPaN, two online communities on Socialprotection.org and Capacity4dev.eu gather all documented resources of the GP and serve as platforms offering a direct link between learning and performance from experts with different backgrounds working or not for European development agencies. 

The GP is considered a ´living tool´ that brings together experts and views from across the nexus with the aim to continually strengthen the value of the package with experiences from the field. 

 

While created by the three EC Directorates, the GP has now been handed over to UNICEF, who will continue to develop it with close coordination from the European Commission.

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