Social protection and social exclusion: an analytical framework to assess the links

This Background Note offers a framework for applying the concept of social exclusion in the analysis of social protection policies and programmes in low- and middle-income countries (LICs and MICs). The framework establishes the conceptual and operational linkages between social protection and social exclusion, providing examples of how social protection can contribute to social inclusion. There has, to date, been no clear, consolidated framework to depict the relationship between social protection and social exclusion. This paper pulls together different strands of literature and presents an approach for structuring the analysis and evaluation of social protection, rather than prescribing ‘road map’ steps for implementation.
We suggest that the concept of social exclusion is a useful lens for researching and analysing the effects of social protection interventions. Social protection refers to publicly-mandated policies and programmes to address risk and vulnerability among poor and near-poor households. Social exclusion is used in social policy and social development literature as a framework to conceptualise human deprivation and establish the mechanisms that produce and reproduce it. Few empirical studies of social protection outside of the European context have been framed using the social exclusion/inclusion perspective (see, for example, ILO, 2006).