Social Protection and Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery Guidance Series
A teenage boy in a black tee shirt gathers long grasses in his arms as he walks through a marsh.
March 2020

This note highlights the critical contribution that social protection can make to a broader disaster recovery effort by providing assistance directly to disaster-affected households. It is intended primarily for those government officials involved in organizing the post-disaster response and recovery effort who may not be familiar with social protection or the contribution it can make as part of their response and recovery plans. It also provides a high-level sensitization to the main social protection programs and their potential uses in response and recovery, including their primary strengths and limitations in post-disaster settings. It is hoped that this indicative information can provide the basis and impetus for government officials leading the response and recovery effort to collaborate with their own national social protection ministries, departments and agencies in order to assess the most appropriate contribution that social protection can make in their specific country contexts, and at a much more detailed degree of technical specificity.

The note outlines the following points in greater detail:

  • The types of social safety net programs and their relevance to response and recovery.
  • Methods for increasing the responsiveness of safety net programs: scalability and emergency programming.
  • Step-by-step implementation considerations for delivery in post-disaster settings.
  • A typology for assessing readiness and establishing priorities during this disaster.
  • The Adaptive Social Protection agenda, a preparedness agenda that summarizes the core investments that are required to increase the responsiveness of the social protection system ahead of the next disaster.