Social protection, food security and nutrition in six African countries

Evaluations of social protection interventions across Africa often register significant success in improving household food security indicators, but little or no improvement in individual nutritional outcomes. One reason is under-coverage of poor people; another is the low value of social transfers. This paper reviews experiences with social protection in six African countries – Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Social protection programmes are expanding and becoming institutionalised in all six countries. Bigger impacts can be achieved through ‘nutrition-sensitive’ social protection as well as nutrition-specific interventions. Most importantly, linkages must be strengthened between social protection and other social and economic sectors.