Poverty, vulnerability and social protection in the Pacific: the role of social transfers
Summary of publication
In the Pacific Islands social protection has typically been an area of low government involvement. Knowledge about formal social protection in the region is limited, and there have been no studies on the impact of such schemes on poverty, human development and economic growth.
Formal social protection's core instruments include regular and predictable cash or in-kind transfers to individuals and households. Traditional social protection in the Pacific Islands is stretched by new challenges, which has led to greater interest in innovative social protection mechanisms that tackle chronic poverty, mitigate the impact of shocks, improve food security and overcome financial constraints to accessing social services.
In an environment with limited or conflicting information about patterns of poverty and vulnerability, knowing whether social protection represents a sound, or even appropriate, policy choice is difficult. This research looks at poverty, vulnerability and social protection across the dimensions of health and education, gender, social cohesion, economic growth, and traditional protection networks in the Pacific Islands.
It aims to improve the evidence base on formal and informal social protection programs and activities in the Pacific region and make recommendations on support for strengthening and expanding social protection coverage so it can contribute to achieving development outcomes.