This paper sets out the different interpretations of ‘Public Works’ and the implications of this diversity for social protection programming. It outlines the wide range of programmes currently implemented under the broad descriptor ‘Public Works’. ‘Public Works Programmes (PWPs)’ have been interpreted and applied in different ways, without making adequate distinction between different forms, resulting in errors in programme design and implementation. This paper provides a framework for a more systematic and insightful engagement with PWPs, which links the different forms of PWP to likely social protection outcomes in differing labour market contexts.
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