Enhancing climate resilience impacts of India’s social protection programme
IIED is supporting the world’s largest works-based social protection scheme, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), to deliver climate resilience impacts for vulnerable rural communities in India.
Principal researcher (climate governance and finance team), Climate Change
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) is India’s largest programme for social protection. It entitles every rural household with 100 days of guaranteed wage employment per year to meet consumption gaps during shocks.
This wage employment is used to create rural infrastructure for natural resource management and agricultural activities, with the aim to strengthen long-term livelihood strategies dependent on them. While the contribution of the scheme towards poverty reduction is well documented, climate change has emerged as a major threat and could reverse these development gains.
However, by integrating climate risk management into its provisions, social protection programmes such as MGNREGS can play an important role in helping rural households and local economies absorb the effects of climate risk, adapt to climate impacts and push their existing thresholds to transform their ability to address climate stresses and recover from them.
Without doing so, beneficiaries will probably register a decline in wellbeing when exposed to a combination of climate and socioeconomic shocks.
What is IIED doing?
IIED is supporting the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) of India to enhance the climate resilience impacts of MGNREGS, with support from the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Infrastructure for Climate Resilient Growth by:
- Helping the ministry to seek US$15 million of additional climate finance to pilot new approaches and tools to strengthen MGNREGS' contribution to the resilience of vulnerable rural households
- Generate evidence and lessons through research to identify options for Indian policymakers to integrate climate risk management into MGNREGS to deliver shock-responsive wages and budgets, climate-resilient infrastructure, and support migration so that households can prepare, cope and recover from climate risks and respond to opportunities
- Facilitate the co-development and institutionalisation of a climate information services tool (CRISP-M), and approaches and guidance to strengthen institutions and build capacity to use climate information in decision-making at community level, and
- Provide evidence for global policymakers on how to integrate climate-risk management into social protection provision and address poverty in the context of climate change.
Social protection and informal job market reform for tackling climate migration nexus
Publication, 30 September 2022
Climate Resilience Information System and Planning Tool for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: the CRISP-M Tool
Publication, 19 October 2021
Gender sensitive social protection in the face of climate risk. A study in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh, India
Publication, 07 October 2021
Comparative analysis of the efficiency of different social protection delivery mechanisms in the context of climate resilience
Publication, 05 October 2021
Deepening knowledge of MGNREGS’ contribution to climate resilience: a study of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh
Publication, 01 July 2020
Building resilience to climate change through social protection: Lessons from MGNREGS, India
Publication, 01 June 2019
Video: Power of 'tech plus people' in early warning, early action and climate risk management (October 2022)
Video: Launch of the CRISP-M tool (2021)
Blog: Integrating gender and intersectionality in social protection programmes, by Tracy Kajumba, Ritu Bharadwaj (2021)
Blog: Three things climate funds can learn from the COVID-19 response, Neha Rai, Ritu Bharadwaj (2020)
India’s Mahatma Gandhi Guaranteed Employment programme, Ina Porras, Nanki Kaur (2018), research report
Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal
Water & Land Management Institute (WALMI)