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Adaptive Social Protection: Building Resilience to Shocks

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Key findings

  • Adaptive social protection (ASP) helps build the resilience of poor and vulnerable households by investing in their capacity to prepare for, cope with, and adapt to shocks, ensuring that they do not fall (deeper) into poverty.
  • By way of its four building blocks — programs, data and information, finance, and institutional arrangements and partnerships — the ASP framework put forward in the report highlights both the elements of existing social protection systems that can be the cornerstones for building household resilience as well as the additional investments and priorities that are needed to enhance these outcomes.
  • With key examples, the report discusses the need to modify traditional targeting methods to factor in household vulnerability to shocks; integrate and layer programming among poor and vulnerable households in “hot-spot” areas of recurrent shocks; invest in delivery systems and contingency planning to enable the increased responsiveness of programs after a shock hits; expand coverage of social registries, with a focus on the inclusion of high-risk households; preposition risk financing to ensure funding is readily available to fund response programs in a timely manner; and invest in fostering collaboration and coordination with nontraditional but essential partners across government as well as nongovernment, humanitarian actors.
  • At the World Bank Group, we consider ASP to be a dedicated area of focus within the wider field of social protection, examining and identifying the ways in which social protection systems can be prepared and enhanced ahead of large covariate shocks like COVID-19 to build the resilience of poor and vulnerable households—before, during, and after such shocks occur.