This literature review is based on an extensive analysis of the existing evidence on the impact of social protection programmes in the developing world. It assesses how the benefits of social protection could be maximized with specific regard to the different dimensions of children’s well-being. It was found that social protection can play a vital role in ensuring adequate nutrition and access to and utilisation of social services. Existing evidence shows that social protection programmes successfully address several dimensions of child well-being – often in an indirect way. However, a move towards a more “child sensitive” approach to social protection has recently been advocated at the highest level in the international development community.