Mapping linkages of humanitarian cash transfers and social protection in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) States, North East Nigeria – Report

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By Arjen Sterk and Fauzia Issaka


This first chapter introduces the assignment by presenting the rationale and objectives, setting out the background and outlining the methodology followed.

1.1 Rationale for the Assignment

This consultancy constitutes the preparatory phase of a wider initiative of the Cash Working Group (CWG) on Humanitarian Cash Transfers and Social Protection. The preparatory phase seeks to explore how government, humanitarian and social protection actors can work together especially in north-east Nigeria – and ahead of a possible emergency – to identify, design and implement the most viable and pertinent mechanisms for the delivery of humanitarian cash transfer response using the existing social assistance programmes. It aims to bridge the gap between the humanitarian and social protection actors including government, donors, UN agencies and International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs).

The CWG coordinates the implementation of cash transfer programmes in north-east Nigeria, with a special focus on Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states (BAY states). Nigeria is also one of the pilot countries for the Nexus approach with the EU Member States.

1.2 Objectives of the Assignment

This assignment on linking humanitarian cash transfers and social protection in north-east Nigeria is to be understood in the context of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in May 2016, specifically the recommendation to better link work across the development humanitarian nexus. This includes the commitment in the Grand Bargain to “increase social protection programmes and strengthen national and local systems and coping mechanisms in order to build resilience in fragile contexts”.

The ultimate objective of the assignment, as defined by the terms of reference, is to prepare a report that answers the following two questions:

  • Identify potential overlaps in coverage in terms of the assistance provided by the humanitarian community and the government social protection initiatives, including comparing levels of assistance.

  • Identify areas of potential engagement with the existing social protection system to ensure better coordination, smooth information sharing and mutual learning. This will include approaches-targeting, registration, transfer mechanisms, and coordination including Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)


Chapter 2 sets out the context for the assignment with a discussion around the WHS and multilateral agreements which include commitments to link humanitarian cash and social protection. The functions of social protection and the link to humanitarian cash transfers are also discussed.

Chapter 3 provides the context for social protection in Nigeria. It begins with an overview of the policy framework, namely the economic recovery and growth plan (ERGP) and the national social protection policy (NSPP) — both of which provide the rationale and key areas of focus regarding the target groups and the types of interventions to be prioritised. The chapter then presents the key social protection interventions followed by a review of the main government entities engaged in the sector.

Chapter 4 introduces the institutions, policies and plans relevant for the humanitarian response in the north-east, specifically in the BAY states. These include the main government entities, coordination bodies, and the structures at the federal and state level, the policy landscape, Humanitarian Response Strategy (HRS, 2019-2021), the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF), and the Buhari Plan.

The outcomes of the consultations for Abuja and the three BAY states are presented in Chapter 5.

Chapter 6 focuses on linking humanitarian cash with social protection. Key areas such as targeting and registration; payment approaches and infrastructure; size of transfer; monitoring, evaluation and learning; and capacity building are discussed because these areas provide considerable scope for aligning approaches and developing tools and systems for nexus wide use by stakeholders. Some of the consultations also allowed for a broader discussion on monitoring, evaluation and learning and institutional and policy development so these are also discussed as they are equally relevant for better linking cash transfer modalities across the nexus.

The recommendations for linking humanitarian cash transfers and social protection systems are discussed in Chapter 7. The recommendations are first discussed in more general terms through the use of a framework and thereafter in the context of seven thematic areas.