The Children and AIDS Regional Initiative (CARI) represented is a five-year programme (2006-2011) to improve the well being of orphans and children affected and made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS in terms of a large array of issues including health, education and child protection. This documentation explores child- and HIV-sensitive social protection implemented under the umbrella of CARI in five of nine selected countries within the Eastern and Southern Africa region. First, the authors discuss the wider remit of social protection and pay particular attention to the current debate around child- and HIV-sensitive social protection, particularly in ESAR. Second, the methodology is outlined for the documentation at large, including the various methods employed, the selection of country case studies, and some of the challenges encountered. Next, a synthesis of the findings across the five country case studies is presented to explore overarching themes and lessons learned. Finally, a number of conclusions is drawn on the basis of positive and promising developments, challenges ahead and also the potential for expansion of social protection schemes.