Social Protection and Nutrition: Pathways, Systems, and Country Experience

Nutrition, Social Protection
Save the Children International (SCI)
SecureNutrition Seminar
Africa, South Asia
Publication Dates:
November, 2015
Content Formats:
Text, Video

On November 20th, 2015, SecureNutrition hosted two experts from Save the Children to kick of a new seminar series focused on the intersection of nutrition and social protection. 

Watch the recording on YouTube

Katherine Richards and Nicola Hypher (bios below) reviewed effective approaches currently in the field that leverage social protection for nutrition outcomes, and also explored the available evidence base that supports such work. 

Based especially on a report published in March of 2015​, the speakers outlined a pathways approach to analysis, design and implementation of social protection, and went on to site country examples of programs or policy in Bangladesh, Zambia, Myanmar, and Nigeria. The speakers concluded by highlighting the importance of an integrated nutrition-sensitive social protection system, and provided the following thoughts on where this agenda stands and how to further enhance linkages in practice:

  • There is great potential for further impact on nutrition by refining design and implementation of social protection porgrams that are informed by causal analysis of nutrition pathways.
  • Political leadership and will is vital, supported by inter-Ministerial coordination and a multisector approach.
  • Inequality should consistently be addressed through a 'leave no one behind' approach.
  • Nutrition objectives and M&E should be integrated into systems and programmes.
  • The international community has an important role in developming the "how to" based on evidence of what works.

A lively discussion was held for about 40 minutes following the presentation, with questions from live and online participants representing a variety of NGO and international organizations.


Laura Rawlings, Lead Social Protection Specialist, World Bank Group


​​Leslie Elder, Senior Nutrition Specialist, World Bank Group


Katherine Richards leads nutrition-sensitive social protection at Save the Children through research, policy development and international advocacy. This is a key component of Save the Children UK’s Hunger and Nutrition Strategy.  Katherine provides expert guidance across Save the Children and the SUN civil society movement on this subject, with key objective to increase civil society capacity.Katherine started her career in local government in the UK, working with excluded groups on advocacy and development across all welfare services.  Developing these interests, she joined the international charity VSO, working with local NGOs in Namibia to strengthen their capacity and advocate on behalf of people living with HIV/AIDs.

Nicola Hypher leads the social protection portfolio at Save the Children. In this role, Nicola provides technical support to country programs in design and implementation of programs as well as technical leadership and strategy development on social protection to build national social protection systems and improve child sensitivity of programs, including impact on nutrition. Nicola has also worked for the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) as a Research Analyst on Social Policy. Prior to this Nicola worked for the UK public sector in the area of social housing.