A young mother and her baby visit the local nutrition centre in rural Madagascar.  © Mohamad Al-Arief/The World Bank.
A young mother and her baby visit the local nutrition centre in rural Madagascar. © Mohamad Al-Arief/The World Bank.

Social protection

Social protection programmes are large-scale public investments to reduce poverty and enhance education and health where the benefits are often conditional on behaviour change, such as sending a child to school. Some programmes have explicitly targeted cash transfers based on gender and age (e.g. to encourage adolescent girls to stay in school or to prevent child marriage). Others have sought to create a ‘new normal’, for example by making it possible for all adolescents, regardless of gender or socio-economic status, to attend school. The resources on these pages examine how far these programmes contribute to change in attitudes and norms, and in what circumstances people revert to old patterns of behaviour if the cash transfer is removed. They provide a window on the question of whether economic incentives on their own can lead to sustainable norm change, or whether additional attention to discriminatory norms is needed.