Moving towards a shock responsive and resilient social protection system: A roadmap for Nepal

Gabriele Koehler and Thakur Dhakal

Paper prepared for the 5th International Symposium on Asian Development Studies

Kathmandu, Nepal

23-24 October 2019

This paper aims to share the experience of strengthening a social protection system in a low-income, ecologically fragile country. The commitment is to serve the most vulnerable communities in the population not merely in ongoing economic and social development, but also in situations of environmental disasters or other humanitarian situations.  

Conventionally, social protection as a policy aims to protect people from vulnerability and life cycle risks as well as build resilience to shocks, which nicely complements the objectives of disaster risk management and climate change adaptation.  Experiences from some countries show that a well-established, robust, and adequately funded national social protection system can quickly and efficiently respond to natural disasters and shocks. It works best if it is rights-based and aims for social inclusion, and has both the political will, the technical instruments and the financial resources to do so.

This paper, specifically, reviews experience from Nepal with regard to current practices of making the social protection system resilient and shock responsive. It also illustrates the shortcomings and challenges.