Capacity building for social protection


Identify literature on impacts and lessons from capacity building of the social protection sector. Include literature on both programmes and systems if available.


Research for this rapid literature review was unable to find specific material on impacts and lessons for supporting sustainable government capacity building of the social protection sector in general. There is, however, general guidance material on social protection, and lessons and impacts from specific programmes and projects. Consequently this report identifies recommendations and insights across the literature which could have relevance to supporting sustainable government capacity.

Material was identified through web searches using keyword combinations related to ‘capacity building’ and ‘social protection’ as well as contacting experts for literature recommendations. Social protection covers a wide range of development interventions and this review focuses on that literature which explicitly uses the term ‘social protection’ and literature related to the key types of social protection programmes such as cash transfer or public works and employment programmes. The material identified for this report is not a comprehensive mapping of available literature but instead a sample of literature that presents relevant insights. The material identified on social protection largely focuses on what should be done in relation to social protection as opposed to impacts of social protection capacity building support by donors.

The range of types of social protection programmes, approaches and contexts means that there are no universal recommendations or insights. Within the relatively small sample of literature covered in this report there does seem, however, to be common issues which arise throughout the material, including:

  • Coordination
  • Evidence and data
  • Supporting national dialogue
  • Legislation
  • Centralisation vs localisation
  • Long-term funding