Every country (including the poor ones) aims to ensure minimum standard of livelihood for its citizens. While broad-based social security programmes are confined mainly to developed and transition economies, two-thirds of the Highly-Indebted Poor Countries with Poverty Reduction Strategy documents explicitly include measures that could be seen as safety-nets for the vulnerable. Social protection (SP) covers this broad territory.  This course explores the concept of social protection around five pertinent questions (why social protection? protection of what? for whom? how much? and how?).  Other topics discussed include; the elements and strategies of social protection; budgeting for poverty reduction - linking policies, budgets and outcomes; role of private sector as provider of social protection; expanding social protection to informal sector workers; managing social assistance; and developing better protection for the poor and the elderly poor. The course also examines the contentious issue of managing assistance and issue of increasing the effectiveness of social protection system in Uganda.