Study on Shock-Responsive Social Protection in Latin America and the Caribbean - Dominica case study

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Executive summary


There is increasing global recognition of the promising linkages between social protection and disaster risk management (DRM) in responding to and mitigating shocks and in contributing to strengthening the humanitarian-development nexus. In the case of the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region, relatively advanced and largescale social protection systems seem to provide a unique opportunity to support emergency response. However, social protection systems can involve conflicting objectives, target populations, and operational processes when compared to humanitarian interventions. This can impede their ability to play a role in accommodating additional demand for assistance at the time of an emergency.

It is in this context that the World Food Programme (WFP) has joined forces with Oxford Policy Management (OPM) to conduct a Study on Shock-Responsive Social Protection in LAC. The objective of this study is to generate evidence and inform practice for improved emergency preparedness and response in LAC, linked to more flexible national social protection systems. The main research question for the study is: ‘What factors enable social protection systems to be more responsive to shocks?’ The study includes a literature review of experiences in the region (Beazley et al., 2016), seven country case studies (Ecuador, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Haiti, Peru, Dominican Republic, and Dominica) and a synthesis report which sets out the main findings of the study and recommendations to strengthen the role of social protection in shock response in LAC1 . The box below briefly summarises the theoretical framework.

The Commonwealth of Dominica is a small island country in the eastern Caribbean, with a population of around 71,000 people2 according to the census 2011, although estimates following Hurricane Maria suggest out-migration has reduced this figure considerably. It is highly exposed to natural disasters, primarily tropical storms and hurricanes, but also floods, volcanoes and landslides, among other shocks (Government of Dominica, 2014 and ACAPS, 2017). This report studies the factors that can enable Dominica’s social protection system to be more responsive to future shocks and documents on-going experiences and practices in this area. In addition, this study complements the stocktaking exercise conducted after the response to Hurricane Maria by the government, WFP and UNICEF (Government of Dominica et al., 2018) and the Return on Investment (ROI) study conducted by WFP (WFP, forthcoming) 3