Protection and Accountability Handbook (October 2021)


About this Handbook

This updated Handbook supports WFP personnel to mainstream protection in their work. The handbook is conceived as a living document. Additional content will be incorporated over time, according to evolving needs and demand.


The Handbook has been designed in a modular manner, so as to allow users and readers to determine which section is most relevant. Each section can be read independently but may also be cross-referenced with material shared in another section, or with additional resources published on the protection channel at

This Handbook is intended to inform and guide WFP personnel – in particular protection/programme officers – in the following four core objectives of their work:

  • To Build a common understanding of protection in WFP and with partner personnel, thereby enhancing WFP’s contribution to achieving meaningful protection outcomes. The Manual is a shared resource for WFP and partner personnel on mainstreaming protection in food and nutrition assistance programmes. The overall aim is to translate the common understanding of protection into practical steps.

  • To Direct WFP personnel to better engage with communities and respond to community dynamics, at all stages in the programme cycle. The Manual recognises that protection is an ongoing and iterative process, one that cannot and should not be limited to any one single moment in the project management cycle.

  • To Guide the implementation of a protection-mainstreaming approach in real-world situations. This should result in women, men, girls and boys both with and without disabilities and from diverse backgrounds being agents of change, developing common goals and action plans for protection, including assistance and solutions.

  • To Show the different roles that WFP can play in implementing protection, ranging from direct implementation to advocacy.

The task of mainstreaming protection has no single blueprint, and will take many forms according to context: each situation and context is unique. WFP, partners and communities will always need to conduct an in-depth analysis of each situation to agree on the best strategies. WFP’s role is to mainstream protection through its food and nutrition security programmes. However, it can also contribute to broader protection outcomes by providing protection through its presence, by providing logistical support to protection actors, or by referring cases to be managed by others.

Note: providing food assistance does not constitute protection. It is only by mainstreaming protection in our food and nutrition activities that WFP plays a protective role.