Measuring results and impact / M&E


Monitoring and evaluation are important tools to improve the quality of social protection programmes and systems, by ensuring accountability and transparency, providing important feedback on the performance of a programme, and identifying possible shortcomings and gaps. Recommendation No. 202 provides guidance on the monitoring of social protection systems, including with regard to the participation of stakeholders.



Photo credit: “UvaldeWheatTesting” by AgriLife Today (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).

Expert Commentaries

Conditional Cash Transfers and the Human Right to Social Security

The increasing use of conditional cash transfers (CCTs) has perhaps been one of the most significant additions to the social development agenda of late. CCTs are now key components of many governments’ poverty elimination programmes and feature centrally in the UN’s current Social Protection Floor initiative1 The mainstream media has also taken note and lent […]

A Rights-Based Approach to Social Protection: The Case of Tunisia

Tunisia today is at an important stage in its thinking about a new development model that combines optimal allocation of resources and social equity, welfare being an essential factor in the success of the democratic transition and at the core of the 2011 popular uprising. However, structural reform cannot be achieved in the absence of […]

Realizing Rights in Practice: ‘Minimum’ Level of Social Security in Relation to an ‘Adequate’ Standard of Living

Bob Deacon, Emeritus Professor at the International Social Policy, University of Sheffield


Access to Accountability Mechanisms and Effective Remedies

A human rights-based approach to social protection requires that policy makers, programme administrators and others whose actions have an impact on a programme should be held accountable for their actions. To meet this human rights requirement, social protection programmes should have mechanisms to collect and process complaints, in particular to review eligibility for the programme, […]

Legal Instruments

Social Protection Floors Recommendation, 2012 (No. 202)

Recommendation No. 202 is the first international instrument to offer guidance to countries to close social security gaps and progressively achieve universal protection through the establishment and maintenance of comprehensive social security systems. To this aim, the Recommendation calls for (1) the implementation, as a priority, of social protection floors (SPF) as a fundamental element […]


How Does Resilience Change over Time? Tracking post-disaster recovery using mobile phone surveys

Knowing how climate hazards affect people’s resilience over time is crucial in designing more effective development and humanitarian interventions. This is particularly important in post-disaster contexts, where people’s livelihood opportunities and wellbeing changes rapidly during the long road to recovery. Yet, to date, our knowledge of resilience is largely guided by snapshots: one-off surveys taken […]

The local economy impacts of social cash transfers: a comparative analysis of seven sub-Saharan countries

Africa has taken centre stage in the use of social cash transfer (SCT) programmes to combat extreme poverty and vulnerability. Between 2000 and 2009, over 120 cash transfer programmes were implemented in sub-Saharan Africa, by both governmental and non-governmental institutions (Garcia and Moore, 2012). These programmes increasingly form part of formal government social protection systems […]

Myth-busting? Confronting Six Common Perceptions about Unconditional Cash Transfers as a Poverty Reduction Strategy in Africa

In this paper we summarize evidence on six perceptions associated with cash transfer programming, using eight rigorous evaluations conducted on large-scale government unconditional cash transfers in sub-Saharan Africa, under the Transfer Project. Specifically, we investigate if transfers: 1) induce higher spending on alcohol or tobacco; 2) are fully consumed (rather than invested); 3) create dependency […]

Toward more inclusive measures of economic well-being: Debates and practices

This paper reviews debates and practice around the conventional and alternative measures of economic well-being. It presents alternative aggregate indicators, broadly referred to as “Beyond GDP”, that track non-market contributions to well-being, including household production and ecosystem services. Evaluating the major contending measures–Genuine Progress Indicator, Human Development Index, Happiness/lifeevaluation index, Happy Planet Index, the OECD’s […]

Egypt Social Project Indicators

To offer a multidimensional view of socioeconomic well being, Egypt’s Social Progress Indicators (ESPI) measure six topics: health; education; labour; urbanization; food, water, and agricultural land; and economic policy as a determinant of social progress. By incorporating gender analysis across these six topics, ESPI also highlights the gender gaps that impede women’s socioeconomic well being. […]

Neglecting human rights: accountability, data and Sustainable Development Goal 3

In this paper we examine the Sustainable Development Goal 3 through the lens of state obligations to respect, protect and fulfil people’s human rights entitlements. We critique some of the Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development “follow-up and review” arrangements for the health goal, SDG3. To assist in this analysis, we draw from a […]

Data Visualization for Human Rights Advocacy

In a world of “Big Data”, data visualization allows the viewer to explore curated data; the creator to quickly convey complex information; and advocates to vividly display their view of a better world. Fields as disparate as journalism, environmental advocacy, and development assistance are taking advantage of these data-filled times. A similar movement can be […]

Evaluating Outside the Box: Mixing Methods in Analysing Social Protection Programmes

This paper reflects on the methodological implications of operationalising an expanded framework for evaluating social protection programmes. It specifically discusses the combination and integration of methods as part of the expanded evaluation framework, and does so by using an ongoing evaluation of a cash transfer pilot programme in Tigray, Ethiopia as a case study.  

Results-based monitoring: Guidelines for technical cooperation projects and programmes

These guidelines aim to describe the general concept of results-based monitoring in technical cooperation projects and programmes. Moreover, they identify and summarise the tasks to be performed on the basis of the results and explain the seven steps from project design to the use of monitoring results. Link to this page

Mapping existing international social protection statistics and indicators that would contribute to the monitoring of social protection extension through social protection floors

This report summarises a workshop which brought together representatives from various organizations active in social protection. It presents a mapping of existing, comparable, internationally collected data and related indicators on social protection (and more specifically its contribution to ensuring basic income security throughout the life cycle) and a reflection on current gaps and possible future […]

Social Protection and Human Rights