Social protection is fundamental for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Despite gaps in coverage, social protection systems are crucial to keeping people out of poverty and helping them escape poverty and reduce income inequality. Being relatively new paradigm in the discourse of social protection, ‘Adaptive Social Protection’ (ASP) came from a realisation that social protection, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation were three communities of practice linked by the same fundamental objective of reducing vulnerability and building resilience.
Given the shortcomings in the traditional disaster management models, the disaster risk reduction (DRR) policy framework in Bangladesh has evolved in recent years, graduating from disaster relief and recovery to redressing the rising levels of risk. This policy shift has provided opportunities for introducing social protection (SP) and climate change adaptation (CCA) streams alongside the traditional DRR approaches. Moreover, Bangladesh has a large number of organizations involved in SP, CCA and DRR, which indicates that the country has the greatest scope in the region for integrating the three approaches.
The National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) 2015 has strengthened the existing social safety net programmes and broadens the scope of ‘social security’ from the narrow concept of safety nets to include employment policies and social insurance. By broadening its scope and coverage, the NSSS has the potential to promote human development with the aim of reducing income disparities and contributing to greater social and economic growth. However, the NSSS has not adequately contributed in improving the national ability to adapt to a changing climate and addressing the underlying causes of vulnerability.
This study assesses current ASP policies, institutions and government spending to derive practicable options for institutional and programme reforms, aiming to encourage climate-change financing to deliver ASP to poor and climate-vulnerable populations, and to support government efforts to address covariate shocks in more flexible ways.