Social Protection

Farmer registries and social protection information systems: Harnessing interoperability to improve outcomes for rural populations

Resource Type: Publication
Published: 28/02/2023

In recent years, the social protection sector has made great strides in strengthening registries and information systems, in an effort to expand and improve the delivery of ben- efits and services to the diverse target populations it seeks to serve. At the same time, agriculture and allied sectors are increasingly making strategic use of digital technologies, data and digitally-enabled business models to transform agri-food systems, as a means of achieving food security and nutrition, as well as climate adaptation goals. One tool is the increasing use of farmer registries – as well as registries of those working in sectors such as fisheries and forestry – for supporting the development and delivery of tailored and differentiated policies to small-scale food producers and vulnerable rural populations.

The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the potential of data exchange between the information systems that serve the agricultural and social protection sectors. This paper builds on recent experiences across a range of countries to highlight how these two information systems can ‘speak’ to each other to maximise mutual benefits and enable better support to smallholder farmers and other groups. The paper sets out to explore:

• How the design of standalone farmer registries can be useful to social protection informa-tion systems and vice-versa

• When and how farmer registries and social protection information systems can be integrated and embedded in a broader, interoperable digital information ecosystem to improve the identification, coordination, delivery and monitoring of agricultural and social policies focusing on smallholder farmers.