This paper outlines linkages between climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and social protection. It starts by giving examples of the social dimensions of climate change and argues that understanding the intra-household dynamics around how age and gender influence resource access and time expenditure, and anticipated impacts of shocks, is critical for addressing future adaptation needs. It notes that social protection, DRR and climate change adaptation have much in common in terms of measures and broad objectives. They all seek to take integrated, multi-sectoral approaches to mitigate risks faced by poor people. The paper further presents country experiences of a range of social protection instruments such as; weather-indexed crop insurance, employment guarantee schemes, asset transfers and cash transfers and explains how the measures can enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities. It points at ways in which the design of social protection measures could be strengthened taking into account current and potential future climate related shocks. The paper concludes that for social protection programmes to successfully support adaptation and DRR, a number of lessons and challenges need to be recognised and addressed during design and implementation. These include; longer term perspectives on social protection; people-centred and social aspects; institutional capacity and co-ordination and adaptive social protection.The paper recommends that towards implementing adaptive social protection there is need to:
capture further lessons from existing case studies to support learning in other countries
combine the long-term study of poverty impacts and social responses to climate change with trends and projections for future climate hazards.
build evidence on the economic costs and benefits of different social protection measures for climate change adaptation.
generate evidence of the cost effectiveness of social protection measures relative to alternative interventions.
develop Climate Risk Assessments for use in conjunction with social protection programme design and implementation.
develop practical guidance on the design and implementation of appropriate adaptation methods, taking into account the views of affected groups, particularly women, children and the elderly.
support civil society to help the poor build voice to demand access to social protection instruments.
review existing adaptation funding guidelines and criteria to identify opportunities to integrate appropriate social protection responses.
strengthen synergies and linkages between academics and practitioners from across the three disciplines to strengthen understanding, co-ordination and good practice.
design monitoring and evaluation systems to capture further evidence and feedback on the effectiveness of an adaptive social protection approach.