Social Protection

About the house

Social protection covers a range of policies and programmes needed to reduce the lifelong consequences of poverty and exclusion. programmes like cash transfers – including child grants, school meals, skills development and more – help connect families with health care, nutritious food and quality education.

Social protection is concerned with protecting and helping those who are poor and vulnerable, such as children, women, older people, people living with disabilities, the displaced, the unemployed, and the sick. There are ongoing debates about which interventions constitute social protection, and which category they fit under, as social protection overlaps with a number of livelihoods, human capital and food security interventions (Harvey et al., 2007)

The Utafiti Sera house on Social Protection in Kenya builds on the pilot phase of the Utafiti Sera Programme which had been there from 2015 – 2017. The current house was reconstituted in January 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya. The Social Protection house is hosted by the African Platform for Social Protection (APSP) with the main objective of supporting the governments on tackling poverty through social protection programmes. So far, forums have been convened in Kenya to tackle five key policy areas five policy areas namely: legislation on social protection; universalism as a way of reducing targeting errors; exit/graduation mechanisms; financing mechanisms; and effective coordination of social protection.


Country of focus:


Host Organisation

Africa Platform for Social Protection (APSP)

House anchor study/primary evidence sources:

This House provides evidence on social protection best practices and a space for unassuming, non-partisan debates and policy engagement among key stakeholders on how best to secure and coordinate the various social protection programmes currently being implemented in Kenya.

Policy Briefs

Utafiti Sera Policy Brief on Strengthening Kenya’s Social Protection Agenda through Research, Programming and PolicyPublished in June 2017

The policy brief focuses on Strengthening Kenya’s Social Protection Agenda through Research and Policy and this brings about the evidence that is informed by the research which informs policy making from the findings and engaging the key stakeholders like governments for uptake


The Need for a Comprehensive Legal Framework Social Protection in Kenya

Despite the existence of various Social Protection intervention in Kenya, there are critical gaps in the provision of equitable and effective programs. Many deserving Kenyans remain un-coverage by the existing programes, leaving them viulnerable in the face of poverty and lack of sustainable economic activities. Further, although Social Protection is enshrined in the 2010 Constitution and as a critical element in achieving vision 2030, the existing policies have not fully been operationalised to ensure the enjoyment of these rights by the beneficiaries. This policy brief elevates the need for a comprehensive legal framework to for Social Protection in Kenya.

House Convening/ Activities:

Other than the creation of the Social Protection House for evidence through research and policy analysis, the house periodically organizes webinars convening where researchers and policy makers get to interact and engage in knowledge sharing on policy gaps on social protection across Africa, best practices and desired changes. Since its launch the House has held the following activities:

  1. Developed 3 background papers on specific topical areas on Social protection
  2. Africa Wide convening on Social protection
  3. High level Breakfast engagement on just and inclusive social protection