Protection sociale

FAO partnership with IFAD and UNIANDES

FAO, IFAD and the Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES) combined efforts to conduct country and cross-country analysis spanning 7 countries on 2 continents to explore the benefits of articulating social protection and rural development interventions targeting small-scale producers and their families.

Why is articulation between social protection and rural development necessary?

When combined, social protection and productive rural development contribute to increase the capacities of poor and vulnerable households to break the cycle of poverty and prevent its transmission across generations. While social protection provides liquidity and improves risk management, productive development programmes allow poor rural households to access markets and services, purchase key productive inputs, and generate the means for a sustained exit from poverty. 

Strategies articulating social and productive interventions are particularly relevant in rural areas of Africa, where the highest number of extreme poor people are concentrated and where opportunities to generate income through paid employment are scarce. Instead, a high degree of informality and casual labour prevails in rural parts of Africa, meaning that households engaged in as well as outside agriculture are often excluded from decent work and social protection benefits, and suffer from a high prevalence of hunger and food insecurity.   

Smallholder households are exposed to multiple risks while facing difficulty in accessing markets for purchasing inputs or selling their products, as well as for credit and insurance. The result is that smallholder households living in poverty tend to adopt low-risk, low-return livelihood strategies, which affects their income-generating potential and consequent food consumption and well-being. These conditions, in turn, affect decisions regarding education and health, which lose priority over work and food, thereby contributing to the intergenerational transmission of poverty and vulnerability.

A strategy that simultaneously addresses the multiple deprivations faced by poor rural households in an integrated way bears the promise of helping them move away from poverty towards sustainable livelihoods.