"Non-state actors (NSAs) in Ethiopia play a vital role in providing social protection services to address poverty, inequality and vulnerabilities affecting livelihood. However, information about them, an essential component in planning, is scarce in both official records and in the literature, particularly for informal NSAs. This study aimed to map NSAs and their services and examine their governance, responsiveness to gender considerations and impact on policy formulation. The study was conducted in Addis Ketema and Dire Dawa city administration, representing urban areas, and Welmera and Shinile, representing rural areas."