Impacts of the Productive Safety Net Program on livestock and tree holdings of rural households in Ethiopia

Policy Brief

In this paper, we study the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) in Ethiopia in order to see how it has affected households’ investment and disinvestment in productive assets. The PSNP is the largest currently operating social protection program in sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa, and its impacts and effectiveness are therefore important both in their own right and because they have implications for similar but smaller programs elsewhere.

There is an international perception of a dependency syndrome associated with food aid to food insecure households in poor developing countries. It is argued that food aid could change the behavior of its recipients by making them more dependent on it and less active in terms of their economic and social activities. There is, however, limited rigorous empirical work that looks into the effects of food aid or safety net programs on behavior of households, particularly in relation to effects on their investments in productive assets.


Camilla Andersson

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Sustainable Development Goals
Publication reference
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MoARD). 2004. “Productive Safety Net Targeting Guideline.” Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: MoARD, Food Security Coordination Bureau.

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Publication | 1 March 2009