Social protection programs have broad mandates to stabilize incomes for the poor, build livelihoods, and protect households from shocks. IPA’s Social Protection Program works with governments and other programs working to move households out of extreme poverty by creating economic opportunities for the poor. IPA has a growing body of research on identifying and scaling effective social protection programs, including cash transfers, graduation programs, and job training.
A centerpiece of our work is a set of evaluations of graduation programs in seven countries as part of the CGAP-Ford Foundation Graduation Program. These programs offer a holistic set of services designed to help ultra poor households develop new livelihoods: a productive asset transfer (often livestock), along with training and regular coaching visits, consumption support, and savings services. Results published in Science show strong gains for program participants in income and consumption, food security, assets, savings, and mental health. IPA also conducted the evaluation of GiveDirectly’s cash transfer program in Kenya, showing that a lump sum transfer can help households invest and increase incomes. The Social Protection Program’s current work focuses on helping governments and other implementers learn how to identify and take the most effective social protection programs to scale.