Social protection background reading

EPRI’s policy manual — Designing and implementing social transfer programmes — provides a comprehensive guide to socials transfers, their design, implementation, management and the growing body of evidence on their impacts. Click here to download the full Policy Manual.

The sources listed below provide additional information on social protection, and form the basis for EPRI’s Course Reader. However, EPRI creates a customized Reading List for each Course, tailored to the country context and topics to be covered. If you are participating in an upcoming EPRI Course, please look to your Information Letter for a list of recommended readings.

Social protection
in the news

Money where
your mouth is.

A debate is growing about how to get welfare to the needy.

The Economist, Nov. 10, 2012.

Definitions and overviews

» Barrientos, A. (2010). Social protection and poverty. UNRISD Social Policy and Development Programme Paper Number 42.

» Devereux, S. (2006). Unconditional cash transfers in Africa. IDS In Focus 1, Brighton.

» Devereux, S. and R. Sabates-Wheeler (2004). Transformative social protection. IDS Working Paper 232, Institute of Development Studies, Brighton.

» Devereux, S., J. Marshall, J. MacAskill and L. Pelham (2005). Making cash count: lessons from cash transfer schemes. Save the Children UK, HelpAge International and Institute of Development Studies, Brighton.

» DFID (2005). Social transfers and chronic poverty: emerging evidence and the challenge ahead. A DFID practice paper. Department for International Development, London.

» Gorman, M. (2004). Age and security: how social pensions can deliver effective aid to poor older people and their families. HelpAge International, London.

» IPC-IG (2011). Long-term social protection for inclusive growth. Poverty in Focus, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, Brazil.

» OECD (2009). Promoting pro-poor growth: employment and social protection. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

» Taylor, V. (2008). Social protection in Africa: an overview of the challenges. Prepared for the African Union.

Programme design


» Mkandawire, T. (2005). Targeting and universalism in poverty reduction. Social Policy and Development Programme Paper 23, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, Geneva.


» Baird, S., C. McIntosh and B. Özler (2010). Cash or condition? Evidence from a randomized cash transfer program. Policy Research Working Paper 5259, Poverty and Inequality Team, Development Research Group, World Bank, Washington, D.C.

Programme impact

» Aguero, J., M. Carter and I. Woolard (2007). The impact of unconditional cash transfers on nutrition: The South African child support grant. International Poverty Centre, Working Paper No. 39, September 2007.

» Barber, S. and P. Gertler (2008). Empowering women to obtain high quality care: Evidence from an evaluation of Mexico’s conditional cash transfer programme. Health Policy and Planning 2009, Vol. 24, Oxford University Press.

» Hoddinott, J. and L. Bassett (2009). Conditional cash transfer programs and nutrition in Latin America: Assessment of impacts and strategies for improvement. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Hunger-Free Latin America and the Caribbean Initiative, April 2009.

» Lagarde, M., A. Haines and N. Palmer (2007). Conditional cash transfers for improving uptake of health interventions in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review.  Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Vol. 298, No. 16, October 24/31 2007.

» Lehmann, C. (2010) . Benefiting without receiving money? Externalities of conditional cash transfer programmes on schooling, health and the village economy. International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, Research Brief No. 13, March 2010.

» Leroy, J., M. Ruel and E. Verhofstadt (2009). The impact of conditional cash transfer programmes on child nutrition: a review of evidence using a programme theory framework. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 1:2.

» Yablonski, J. and M. O’Donnell (2009). Lasting benefits: the role of cash transfers in tackling child mortality. Save the Children Fund, London.

DFID social protection briefing notes

» DFID (2006). Social protection in poor countries. Social Protection Briefing Note 1, Department for International Development, London.

» DFID (2005). Can low income countries in Africa afford social transfers? Social Protection Briefing Note 2, Department for International Development, London.

» DFID (2006). Using social transfers to improve human development. Social Protection Briefing Note 3, Department for International Development, London.

» DFID (2006). Social protection and economic growth in poor countries. Social Protection Briefing Note 4, Department for International Development, London.

National programmes

El Salvador
» Britto, T. (2007). Conceptual and operational features of El Salvador’s CCT program (Red Solidaria). United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) International Poverty Centre, Brazil, April 2007.

» Gaiha, R. and K. Imai (2006). The Maharashtra Employment Guarantee Scheme in India. Policy Brief 6, Inter-Regional Inequality Facility.

» Sumarto, S. (2006). Social safety nets in Indonesia. Policy Brief 5, Inter-Regional Inequality Facility.

» Schubert, B. and M. Huijbregts (2006). The Malawi social cash transfer pilot scheme: preliminary lessons learned. Paper presented at the Conference on Social Protection Initiatives for Children, Women and Families: an Analysis of Recent Experiences, UNICEF, New York, 30-31 October.

» Maluccio, J.A. and R. Flores (2005). Impact evaluation of a conditional cash transfer programme: the Nicaraguan Red de Protección Social. Research Report 141, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C.

South Africa
» Samson, M., I. van Niekerk and K. Mac Quene (2006). Social grants in South Africa. Policy Brief 1, Inter-Regional Inequality Facility.

» Social protection in the news