Social protection has risen rapidly up the development policy agenda in the last decade. There is also a clear trend to making social protection, as well as food security, ‘rights-based’ rather than ‘discretionary’. Yet no clear consensus has so far emerged concerning many basic design choices and implementation modalities of social protection policies and programs. This is why, in 2010, the CFS requested the HLPE to work on Social Protection and more specifically, on ways to lessen vulnerability through social and productive safety net programs and policies with respect to food and nutritional security, taking into consideration differing conditions across countries and regions. CFS further suggested that the study should include a review of the impact of existing policies for the improvement of living conditions and resilience of vulnerable populations, especially small scale rural producers, urban and rural poor as well as women and children. The CFS also requested the HLPE to report on the impact and benefits of social protection measures on improving local production and livelihoods and promoting better nutrition.