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Evaluation of the Adaptive Social Protection in the Sahel Programme

Poor and vulnerable people face increased shocks and stresses to their livelihoods. These can be global, such as financial crisis, or localised, such as floods and droughts. All put considerable strain on people’s coping strategies and their ability to protect livelihoods and wellbeing.


The original imagination of the SASPP (the Sahel Adaptive Social Protection Programme) was as a five-year programme (2015–2019) implemented by the World Bank in six countries in the Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal). This was a £48 million initiative funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), as part of a larger International Development Association project on Social Protection implemented by the World Bank in these six countries.

The SASPP was built on the concept of adaptive social protection (ASP). Conceptually, ASP brings together the fields of social protection, disaster risk management and climate change, with the aim of integrating their purposes and operational expertise in order to provide a national system capable of mobilising a timely, scalable, coordinated programme that successfully targets vulnerable households affected by shocks and stressors and increases their adaptive capacity.

Our approach

Itad designed a theory-based impact evaluation with an emphasis on lesson learning, in order to identify changes at the system level that could be attributed to the ASP programme and to highlight key lessons and recommendations for the programme as it ran through its implementation. As part of this evaluation, and more broadly, Itad has provided thought leadership on the concept of ASP, how it can be conceptualised at a programme level, and a number of key lessons and insights from the body of work.

Over the course of 2016–2017, a baseline and mid-term evaluation of the SASPP were commissioned by DFID and implemented by Itad. These provided a number of key findings that have directly influenced the programming on the ground in the Sahel and the way ASP is being conceptualised as it becomes more influential globally.

In 2019, DFID commissioned Itad to provide a final evaluation, based on the body of work from the initial rounds, and with a specific agenda to inform the next round of funding on ASP going into the Sahel.


Image: Marche Gaoua © Credit: Hugues (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Team members
Alex Cornelius Lucy Faulkner Dave Wilson