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Social Protection and Climate Resilience

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Executive summary


In recent years, there has been growing awareness of the experience of greater integration in the spheres of social protection (SP), climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR). This has come about partly against a background of greater attention to shocks – that is, from climate change impacts, increased frequency of disasters, sudden yet enduring food price spikes – all of which have generated concern about the implications for the vulnerability of poor people and the need to strengthen people’s resilience. It has also come about partly as a result of the greater recognition of the contributions that SP, CCA and DRR can make to sustainable development. To date, however, there remain few examples of such integration in practice. This matters because of increasing concerns that SP, CCA and DRR interventions will not work in the long run if they continue to be applied in isolation from each other. Moreover, there is much to gain from deepening integration between these three areas, in terms of reducing vulnerability and poverty even in the face of worsening climate impacts and/or natural hazards.

Workshop objectives and key themes

To address this emerging agenda, the World Bank, the UK’s Department for International Development, the Institute of Development Studies, and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) convened an international workshop in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) on “Making Social Protection Work for Pro-poor Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation”.
Bringing together policy makers, practitioners and researchers from the fields of social protection, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, the workshop had two core objectives:

  1. To understand better how social protection can be used to strengthen the poor’s resilience to climate and natural disaster risk in developing countries

  2. To create a forum for cross-regional learning about good practice for realizing the potential synergies between social protection, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation To further these objectives, the workshop was organized around four core themes:

  3. Creating an enabling environment for cross-sectoral implementation

  4. Improving decision making and facilitating knowledge exchange and learning

  5. Planning, implementing and evaluating in the context of uncertainty

  6. Improving targeting and delivery.