Project performance assessment report: Ethiopia productive safety net

Publication language
Date published
01 Jun 2013
Research, reports and studies
Development & humanitarian aid, Disaster preparedness, resilience and risk reduction
World Bank

Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) is a large national social safety net (SSN) program that responds not only to chronic food insecurity among Ethiopia's poor, but also to shorter-term shocks, mainly droughts. It targets a highly climate-vulnerable population, offering a practical model of how SSNs can be designed to meet the social protection needs of the most vulnerable, while simultaneously reducing the risks from disaster and climate-related impacts.

The PSNP incorporates a number of interesting features, such as: public works activities geared towards improving climate resiliency; a risk financing facility to help poor households and communities to better cope with transitory shocks, including households outside of the core program; and the use of targeting methods that assist the most climate-vulnerable community members to obtain the full benefits of consumption smoothing and asset protection. The program also works through, and focuses on strengthening, existing government institutional systems at all levels – rather than creating separate systems.

The combination of a secure and regular/predictable entitlement of poor households to a government transfer, protection of poor households against natural hazard shock impacts and significant improvements in the management of the natural environment that contributes to these risks has enabled the program's core beneficiaries to meet consumption needs, mitigate risks and avoid selling productive assets during times of crisis (e.g., droughts). There is evidence that livelihoods are stabilizing and food insecurity is being reduced among these households.