Informal social protection: A conceptual synthesis [IN PRESS]

Zahid Mumtaz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Various informal networks such as extended and immediate family, religious organizations, and NGOs assist a large segment of the neglected poor population worldwide by providing informal social protection. However, it is hard to locate a comprehensive definition of informal social protection that may help measure its aggregate benefits. Hence, it represents a considerable gap in the literature. To fill this gap, we used existing literature to define and devise a new framework to conceptualize and categorize informal social protection into three components: informal assistance, informal insurance, and informal labour market measures. By doing so, this paper makes critical contributions to the social policy literature as follows: First, the study synthesizes a sizeable body of research to provide a comprehensive definition and conceptualizes informal social protection in three components. The primary sources of the provision of three components of informal social protection are also presented. Second, this conceptualisation would help measure the concept of informal social protection and its attributes. Last, the proposed framework helps compare informal with formal social protection, which can further integrate the two forms of social protection. These contributions will respond to the repeated calls in the literature to advance the scholarship and develop meaningful questions for research on the role of informal social protection.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)394-408
    JournalSocial Policy & Administration
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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