Manchester Calling

The Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute

Dr. Emilie Combaz has produced three new helpdesk reports for GSDRC (Governance and Social Development Resource Centre), which are available to read and download online.

Emilie’s first report examines social inclusion in productive safety net programmes (PSNPs) in the agricultural sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. In her report, Emilie explains that in order to be as inclusive as possible, PSNPs must be as broad as possible in order to suit individual’s needs. Geographic context, the gender and age of participants and their health needs should all be taken into account through the specific targetting of programmes which offer different forms of work. Through listening to people’s experiences and tailoring implementation accordingly, PSNPs also have the potential to overcome inequalities that exist between these demographic groups. Risks that need to be avoided include elite capture of resources and the accidental exclusion of beneficiaries.

The second report examines the impact of regional development programmes in reducing poverty at the national level. Evidence available shows that the impact of regional programmes is on par with national programmes and that results are highly varied on a case by case basis. Successful instances are enabled by a number of criteria, including consultation processes which include national and regional actors, linkages with national programmes and appropriate funding modalities. Obstacles which have hindered successful regional programmes have included diverging incentives and interests, limited capacities for regional support and poor programming and execution.

Emilie’s third report looks at the factors which have led to the successes and failures of community-based risk management in Pakistan, Factors of success have included approaches which are multi-sectoral, integrated and multi-hazard, engagement with communities which is prolonged and culturally attuned, the creation of social inclusion which creates a space for equality particularly regarding gender, geographic context, and previous experience with disasters. Wider societal changes such as improving telecommunications and roads have also had a positive effect. Factors of failure have included approaches which are reactive, top-down and overly technocratic, the influence of political economy dynamics and issues relating to urban spaces.

This service provides rapid syntheses of key literature and of expert thinking in response to specific questions on governance, social development, humanitarian and conflict issues. Its concise reports draw on a selection of the best recent literature available and on input from international experts. Each GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report is peer-reviewed by a member of the GSDRC team. Search over 300 reports at