Social Protection


Community-based targeting in the Social Protection Sector. ODI working paper 514. ODI, 2013

This working paper finds that community-based targeting (CBT) is valuable for the community knowledge it can bring to the targeting process that is inaccessible in other forms of targeting, and that the results of CBT are generally perceived as legitimate by the community. Meta-analysis indicates that CBT outcomes are most frequently progressive, but are affected by a number of contextual factors, relating to the nature of the tasks ascribed to the community, the nature of the community representatives carrying out the targeting and the nature of the broader community. Performance is adversely affected where communities are large or widely distributed, or there are high levels of transience, heterogeneity and lack of social integration, where the community may not possess the requisite information to target effectively. The CBT approach is subject to its own inherent limitations and risks, including those related to lack of transparency, discriminatory practices, exclusion of the poor considered ‘undeserving’, and elite capture. Failure of CBT outcomes to conform to performance yardsticks based on external definitions of poverty may not represent an objective failure of targeting, but may rather take into account factors not captured in external definitions, including social, cultural and political considerations. CBT is primarily used in combination with other forms of targeting, and the legitimacy of CBT outcomes may be compromised where alternative targeting approaches are subsequently used that introduce beneficiary changes on the basis of externally defined criteria.



Social Protection and Graduation through Sustainable Employment in IDS Bulletin, Volume46, Issue 2.  Special Issue: Graduating from Social Protection? (eds Devereux and Sabates‐Wheeler) March 2015

(with Slater)

This article explores the role of social protection in contributing to sustainable employment in the context of the broader graduation debate. Many efforts to achieve graduation focus on the household or community level: helping households reach a certain asset and productivity level at which they are able to survive, and perhaps prosper, without support from cash transfer programmes; building assets at community level to provide public goods that increase economic productivity; and making communities more resilient to specific shocks and stress (for example, by supporting community soil and water conservation). However, it remains critical to focus on broader questions of employment and labour markets to understand how social protection programme design might impact on recipient households’ wider job prospects, and to recognise that the feasibility and scale of graduation depend on wider factors such as labour demand and labour market structures, as well as on improving individual capacity and productivity.


Impact Indicators

Indicators to Measure Social Protection Performance and the SDGs. European Commission, 2017.

(with Holmes and Harman)


Social Protection and Climate Change



Economic Development and Social Protection

Guidance note for DFID: Exploiting the synergies between
social protection and economicdevelopment. 
ODI, 2014

(with Slater and Mathers)


Political Economy of Social Protection

The Public Pursuit of Secure Welfare: Background Paper on International Development Institutions, Social Protection & Developing Countries.  European Commission, 2013.


 The Political Economy of Cash Transfer Evaluations in Sub-Saharan Africa,  in UNICEF Political Economy (Davis, Handa, Hypher, Winder Rossi, Winters, and Yablonski), Oxford, 2016.

(with Winder Rossi and Yablonski)