HIV-Sensitive Social Protection

Project Introduction

UNICEF has launched an operational research programme to explore the extent to which national social protection programmes are responding to the needs of individuals and households affected by HIV and AIDS. This research will inform policy guidance on how social protection interventions can become more HIV sensitive and contribute to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support outcomes. The Economic Policy Research Institute (EPRI) based in Cape Town, South Africa, has been selected to undertake this work for UNICEF, and commenced a four-month inception phase in January 2012. The main phase of the operational research programme began in May 2012 and will involve both quantitative and qualitative research in five selected focal countries. The project will benefit UNICEF-supported programmes in the five focal countries, and ultimately support the scale-up of more inclusive and HIV-sensitive social protection programmes.

Phase I Focal Countries

The work completed in the Inception Period has laid the groundwork for the country-focused work of the main phase of research. Five focal countries have been selected for Phase I:
LesothoKenyaMalawi and South Africa.
These countries represent a range of regions, different epidemiological contexts, and different social protection interventions.The main research phase of the project will produce both research and policy guidance findings for each of the five countries, including:

  • Secondary analysis of country-level dataset(s) and micro-simulation modeling to determine the extent to which social protection programmes are HIV-sensitive
  • Research protocols supporting country-led qualitative research on HIV-sensitive social protection

The research findings from each of the five focal countries will then be synthesized and communicated through:

• At least three policy guidance notes on HIV-sensitive social protection topics
• The building of communities of practice to support lesson learning and dialogue at the national and country level, through both the dissemination of research and two regional learning events

Project Outputs

Note of the Meeting 
A note summarizing UNICEF and EPRI’s joint workshop on HIV-sensitive social protection, held 22-23 March 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa. March 2012
Download here.
HIV-sensitive Social Protection: State of the Evidence 2012 in sub-Saharan Africa A report updating Miriam Temin’s 2010 report State of the Evidence on social protection and HIV/AIDS, commissioned by UNICEF. June 2012 
Download here.
Building the evidence: HIV-sensitive social protection in sub-Saharan Africa The presentation from the July 3 webinar on HIV-sensitive social protection, hosted by UNICEF. 3 July 2012 
Download here.

Community of Practice

UNICEF and EPRI have also a set up a new community of practice on HIV-Sensitive social protection. It has over 100 members including UN, civil society, academic and government stakeholders who are interested in this important area of work. You can join the community of practice using the link below:

Project Leads and Contact Information

At UNICEF: Rachel Yates, Senior Advisor HIV/AIDS Programme,
At EPRI: Michael Samson, Director of Research,