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Good practices and new initiatives on social security policy. Gabriele Köhler Development economist Visiting Fellow, Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Team, IDS Sussex ILO/ITC Academy on Social Security: A Modular Approach for Individual Learning Needs Elective course 8

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good practices and new initiatives on social security policy

Good practices and new initiatives on social security policy

Gabriele Köhler

Development economist

Visiting Fellow, Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Team, IDS Sussex

ILO/ITC Academy on Social Security:

A Modular Approach for Individual Learning Needs

Elective course 8

Summary day (“wrap up”)

Turin, 24-27 September 2012


1) The current international development situation

2) Rights, principles, frameworks

3) Good practices and new initiatives

on social protection policies

4) Summary: Innovative social protection and a vision towards & beyond “2015”


The current international development situation –

the rationale for social protection

current international development situation human development income poverty inequity
Current international development situation: human development/income poverty/inequity
  • Human development at aggregate level:

slow but steady improvement


Current international development situation: human development/income poverty

  • Absolute number and share of extremely poor people has declined since 1990 globally
  • But increased number of poor in several regions


Social exclusions –

manifest in every society

  • Income/economic class
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Language
  • Caste/clan
  • Geographic location/urban vs rural
  • Citizenship and migration status
  • Health condition/communicable/visible diseases
  • Ability/disability
  • Menstruation
  • Sexual orientation
  • Looks
  • Recurrent emergency situations
  • Conflict situation
  • Age

Natural disasters (1980-2011)


Geophysical events (earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes)

Metrological events (Storms)

Hydrological events (floods, land mass movements)

Climatological events (temperature extremes, droughts, forest fires)


in brief some numbers for reflection
In brief: some numbers for reflection…
  • Almost 1 billion people live with hunger
  • 1.2 billion people survive with less than $1.25 per person per day
  • 2.5 billion people have less than $2.50 per day
  • 1.5 billion in vulnerable employment
  • 200 million international migrants
  • 740 million people are internal migrants
  • 26 million people internally displaced because of conflict or climate change
  • 14 million refugees living outside their country of citizenship
  • 45 million youth entrants to labour market annually
  • 175 million children affected by climate change
quick quiz what is this text when was it written
QUICK QUIZ: What is this text?When was it written?

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to the realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

right to social protection
Right to Social Protection

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948):

Article 22:

  • Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security.

ILO Convention 102: Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102)

  • Outlines rights to benefits for residents of a country
right to social protection1
Right to Social Protection

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966): Article 9:

The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to social security, including social insurance.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989): Article 26:

States Parties shall recognize for every child the right to benefit from social security, including social insurance, and shall take the necessary measures to achieve the full realization of this right in accordance with their national law.

normative frameworks recent un trends
Normative frameworks: recent UN trends

Global Social Floor Initiative since 2001 –

ILO Recommendation on Social Protection for all. Rec 202 (ILC June 2012)

World Health Assembly 2008 - return to Alma Ata vision of primary health care for all

Right to food, FAO Committee on World Food Security, May 2012 adopted Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security

normative frameworks recent un trends1
Normative frameworks: recent UN trends

MDGs 2010: more emphasis on equity, inclusion, human rights

OHCHR Special rapporteurs on human rights – including right to food and right to highest attainable standards of health

Rio + 20 Summit: outcome document: The Future We Want refers to social protection

ohchr special rapporteurs independent experts on human rights
OHCHR Special Rapporteurs/Independent Experts on human rights
  • right to education;
  • human rights and extreme poverty;
  • right to food;
  • right to adequate housing;
  • access to safe drinking water and sanitation;
  • against violence against women;
  • physical and mental health;
  • economic policies and debt;
  • TNCs;
  • and other substantive normative areas.
social protection unicef
Social protection: UNICEF
  • the set of public and private policies and programmes aimed at preventing, reducing and eliminating economic and social vulnerabilities to poverty and deprivation.

Principles of child-sensitive social protection

  • Avoid adverse impacts on children, and reduce or mitigate social and economic risks that directly affect children\'s lives.
  • Intervene as early as possible where children are at risk
  • Consider the age- and gender-specific risks and vulnerabilities of children throughout the life- cycle.
  • Mitigate the effects of shocks, exclusion and poverty on families
  • Make special provision to reach children who are particularly vulnerable and excluded
  • Consider the mechanisms and intra-household dynamics
  • Include the voices and opinions of children, their caregivers and youth
social protection world bank
Social protection: World Bank
  • Social protection and labor systems, policies, and programs help individuals and societies manage risk and volatility and protect them from poverty and destitution—through instruments that improve resilience, equity, and opportunity.
  • Social protection and labor practice will help countries move from fragmented approaches toward more coherent systems for social protection and labor, and help to make these more responsive, productive and inclusive.
social protection adb
Social protection: ADB
  • a basic human right and a social necessity to combat poverty and inequality.
  • promotes human well-being, inclusive growth, political stability, and social cohesion
  • can reduce inequality, including that between the sexes.
  • is critical for achieving the MDGs.
  • is a key pillar of inclusive growth
  • is affordable.
  • is an investment to lift and keep people out of poverty.
  • contributes to gender equity
social protection eu 2012
Social protection: EU 2012
  • a human right
  • social justice and equity, rather than growth
  • target the poor - obligation of authorities towards their citizens
  • investment in present citizenry and future generations
  • reduce the vulnerability and poverty of those excluded or marginalised from economic activity; serve as an important instrument of investment in human capital
  • a multidimensional concept that should be integrated with political, economic and social goals
social protection ilo
Social protection: ILO

“…a set of public initiatives that

  • provide income or consumption transfers to the poor,
  • protect the vulnerable against livelihood risks,
  • enhance the social status and
  • promote the rights of the marginalised,

with the overall objective of reducing their economic and social vulnerability.” (ILO)

ilo convention 102 social security minimum standards convention 1952 no 102
ILO Convention 102: Social Security (Minimum Standards) Convention, 1952 (No. 102)
  • flagship of all ILO social security Conventions
  • international instrument, based on basic social security principles
  • establishes worldwide-agreed minimum standards for all nine branches of social security
      • medical care;
      • sickness benefit;
      • unemployment benefit;
      • old-age benefit;
      • employment injury benefit;
      • family benefit;
      • maternity benefit;
      • invalidity benefit;
      • survivors\' benefit.


Voluntary insuranceunder government regulation

level of protection

Social security benefitsof guaranteed levels

Social Protection Floor:Access to essential health care and basic income security for all



individual/household income


ILO’s two-dimensional strategy for the extension of social security: Building comprehensive social security systems
  • Vertical dimension: progressively ensuring higher levels of protection, guided by Convention No.102 and more advanced standards

floor level

Outcomes can be guaranteed through different means

  • Horizontal dimension:Guaranteeing access to essential health care and minimum income security for all, guided by Recommendation No. 202


Voluntary insuranceunder government regulation

level of protection

Social security benefitsof guaranteed levels

Social Protection Floor:Access to essential health care and basic income security for all



individual/household income


ILO’s two-dimensional strategy for the extension of social security: Building comprehensive social security systems

extension strategy

  • Vertical dimension: progressively ensuring higher levels of protection, guided by Convention No.102 and more advanced standards

floor level

Outcomes can be guaranteed through different means – there is no one-size-fits-all

Social Protection Floor Recommendation, adopted at ILC 2012

  • Horizontal dimension:Guaranteeing access to essential health care and minimum income security for all, guided by Recommendation No. 202
beyond social protection the decent work agenda
Beyond social protection: the decent work agenda
  • Keynesian approach – active labour market policies & fiscal space
  • Rights-based – emphasis on productive employment, core labour standards, social dialogue
rights 3 principles
Rights – 3 Principles
  • Inclusion, equality - universality
  • Every human being is equallyentitled to social protection
  • This implies universal programmes

2. Citizenship and participation

  • Involves negotiating specific entitlements that all citizens can claim such as free education
  • ‘Social contract’ between the states and its citizens
  • Some countries apply SP to all residents.

3. Obligation and accountability

  • Ability and willingness of the state to deliver SP under its human rights obligations
  • Requires transparency and accountability – good governance and administrative capacity
transformative social protection
Transformative Social Protection

Transformation a structural problem:people are

chronically poor and vulnerable because they are

Systemically disadvantaged

Transformative measures seek to address vulnerabilities

arising from social inequity and exclusion


  • Minimum wage legislation & workers’ rights
  • Access to productive assets and capital


  • Making social protection transfers transformative e.g. cash transfers aimed at addressing marginalisation

Comprehensive Framework for Social Protection


Economic opportunities


Social transformation


Insurance mechanisms

Rachel Sabates-Wheeler/

Stephen Devereux. IDS


Social assistance

discussion i
  • What are the social protection programmes in your country?
  • What are their vision, objectives, key design elements, scale, outcomes, uniqueness
    • Social security
    • Social assistance
    • Special situations


      • Individual reflection/quick list (5 minutes)
      • Pair discussion (10 minutes)
      • Collect in plenary (10 minutes)
      • Debate and summary (5 minutes)
latin america
Latin America
  • Many countries in Latin America run large conditional cash transfer programmes to address income poverty
  • Conditionalities – aiming to produce behavioural change and achieve direct and indirect outcomes. E.g, health and education non-income effects
brazil bolsa famila
Brazil: Bolsa famila
  • 2003 reached 3.6 million families with a budget of US$ 1.1 billion
  • 2007 reaching 100% of its target of 11.1 million families (about 45 million people or a quarter of the country’s population) with a budget of over US$4.1 bn
  • 2008: government’s expenditures with the programme were estimated at US$6 bn
  • The programme raised participants’ income by 21% but by itself not enough to lift families out of poverty
  • 19% reduction in poverty severity (the degree to which poor families fall below the poverty line) and a 21% fall in the Gini (income inequality) index
  • between 1995 and 2004.
  • increasing food and nutrition security in the country: 76% of the transfers spent on food, and families in the Bolsa Família programme have been able to improve their diets
  • Bolsa Família accounts for less than 3% of direct government transfers, and only 0.5% to 0.8% of the country’s GDP

Often a base of social security provisions for public sector workers and formal employees modelled on European systems

Main features of the recent evolution:

  • Mainly cash transfers and largely unconditional
  • Number of pilot projects, few programmes at scale
  • Includes for example social pensions, ‘productive’ safety nets and livelihood promoting measures (input subsidies)
  • Some government driven, some donor-driven,some ‘hybrid’ government-donor partnerships
ethiopia productive safety nets programme
Ethiopia Productive Safety Nets Programme

Largest social protection programme in SSA. Two


  • Smooth consumption and protectassets providing households with predictable and adequate transfers of cash and/or food
  • Build community assets (e.g. roads, soil and water conservations structures, schools) though labour intensive public works
  • Combined with ‘livelihood packages’ that protect and promote livelihoods and asset accumulation
  • In combination, two programmes are expected to facilitate graduation of households into food security
south africa grant for older persons
South Africa: Grant for Older Persons:
  • a social pension, reaches around 2 million beneficiaries with a monthly benefit or around USD 70 to beneficiaries.
  • Eligibility: South African citizens and permanent residents, males from age 63 years (age threshold coming down) and women from age 60 years
  • Must comply with the means test
  • Until the introduction of the Child Support Grant, the social pension constituted the most important source of support for poor households.
  • It is tax financed and currently absorbs around 1.4 per cent of GDP.
south africa child support grant
South Africa: Child Support Grant
  • Purpose:
    • To assist families with child care and education expenses
    • Has become crucial in light of pervasive poverty and because of vulnerabiltiy as a result of the HIV/AIDS pandemic
  • Eligibility:
    • applicant and child must reside in South Africa;
    • applicant must be the primary care giver of the child/ children concerned;
    • the child/children under 15 years;
    • means tested 
    • Limit of six non biological children;
south asia
South Asia

South Asia

  • Major shift towards a new SP agenda came in the course of new governments around 2005ff in most of the region´s countries

Innovations in SP:

  • Introducing social protection for the informal sector in India
  • Social pensions in 4 countries
  • Asset-based approaches (BRAC-type model)
  • Making public employment programmes

a right


Social protection

policy environment

Some South Asian policy responses

Direct food






Affirmative action

Human rights

Right to food/National Food Security Act (IND)

Mid-day meal (IND)

Right to education (all)

Right to work (IND)

Right to health services (all)

Right to information (IND, BGD, NPL)

Universal old age pension (NPL)

Benazir Income Support Program (PAK)

Child benefit (NPL)

Unorganized sector health insurance (IND)

  • National Rural Employment
  • Guarantee (IND)
  • Employment Generation for hard core poor (BGD)
  • Karnali Employment Program (NPL)
  • Employment generation for rural unskilled workers (PAK)

Secondary school stipend for girls (BGD)

Education for all (NPL)

Child grants for girls (IND)

Rural development and community based interventions (IND)

Cooked school meals (IND)

Subsidized PDS (IND, NPL, BGD)

Subsidized grain prices

benazir income support program bisp
Benazir Income Support Program (BISP)
  • 2008
  • initial budget outlay of $500 million: largest direct cash grant scheme in Pakistan’s history
  • 3.5 million economically distressed persons affected by poverty and inflation
  • cash transfers of $13 per month paid every two months t
  • poverty score card methodology (2010)
  • National Database Registration Authority (NADRA)
  • partnerships with private sector commercial banks
east asia southeast asia
  • Major shifts in SP came in the wake of the 1998 “Asian” crisis
  • In the aftermath, many governments introduced new SP interventions
  • These are now being scaled up and systematised
indonesia three clusters of poverty alleviation programmes
Indonesia: three clusters of poverty alleviation programmes

Cluster 1: Family-based integrated social assistance programs

Unconditional cash transfer, conditional cash transfer, rice for poor,

Scholarship for poor families, Health insurance for the poor

Cluster 2: Community empowerment program

Program NasionalPemberdayaanMasyarakat (PNPM Mandiri),

or Self Empowerment National Program

Cluster 3: Development of micro and small enterprises

Kredit Usaha Rakyat (KUR), or People’s Credit Program


Indonesia: national targeting system

  • The National Targeting System identifies and chooses beneficiaries (households, individuals, etc.) of targeted poverty reduction or social protection programs.



  • Past system: each program has its own list of targeting system
  • Now gradually moves into unified targeting system
  • Minimizing inclusion & exclusion errors


of Programs


of Programs

philippines objectives of cct
Philippines: objectives of CCT

Selection Procedures of Target Households

  • To raise the average consumption rate in food expenditure of poor households
  • To increase the enrollment in and attendance rate of children in school
  • To improve preventive health care among pregnant women and young children
  • To reduce the incidence of child labor
  • To encourage parents to invest in their children’s (and their own) human capital through investments in their health and nutrition, education, and participation in community activities

Geographical Targeting

Household Assessment (Enumeration)

Selection of Poor Beneficiaries using Proxy Means Test

Eligibility Check

philippines key features goals of cct
Philippines: key features & goals of CCT
  • Focused targeting
  • Not a stand alone program/Utilizes Convergence Strategy
  • Empowering of Women
  • Promotive of Child Rights
  • Builds Co-responsibilities/Social Contract
  • Encourages Private-partnership-building
  • Automated information System
  • Mainstreamed into the general operation of the Department
  • Social Assistance
  • Provide assistance to the poor to alleviate their immediate needs (short term).
  • Social Development
  • Break the intergenerational cycle of poverty through investment in human capital i.e., education, health and nutrition (long term). Long-run poverty alleviation through investment in human capital.
philippines cct pantawid pamilyang pilipino program
Philippines: CCT – Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program

The Philippine CCT is a rights based program that focuses on human capital investment through provision of health and education cash grants to eligible poor households. It is one of the poverty reduction strategies of the national government to enable poor households to meet certain human development goals aimed at breaking intergenerational cycle of poverty.

7,107 Islands

92.3 M-Population

2007 - Findings on National Social Protection System

  • Fragmented and Uncoordinated
  • Inadequately funded & short-lived
  • Weak targeting system
  • Inadequate coverage
  • Difficult impact assessment
  • 26.5 M. Pop Poor & poverty largely rural

8 Years behind target in poverty reduction/Medium probability of halving poverty by 2015


Gradual progression towards comprehensive social protection, as per the NSPS long-term vision

2. Expanded social protection

  • Social insurance (contributory)
  • Pension
  • Health insurance
  • NSSF, NSSF-C (Social Security Fund)
  • Micro-insurance
  • Community-based health insurance (social health protection)

Civil servants

Formal Workers

Near poor


Special Vulnerable


Social protection for

the poor and vulnerable

  • Social safety net (non-contributory):
    • Public works programmes (food or cash for work)
    • Cash or in-kind transfers (conditional or non-conditional)
    • Social subsidies (to facilitate access to health, education, housing, public utilities)
    • Complementary social welfare services

1. Basic social protection or Social Protection Floor

4 summary innovative social protection and a policy vision towards beyond 2015
4. Summary: Innovative social protection and a policy vision towards & beyond “2015”

Paradigm has shifted:

  • Surge in social protection over past 15 years, acknowledging inequities
  • Rights-based agenda advancing

Emerging shifts:

  • Connecting social services access with income guarantees
  • Combining employment and decent work with social protection
new approaches to socio economic policy decent work agenda

New approaches to socio-economic policy: decent work agenda

formulated at ILO by governments, employers and workers

understanding that work is a source of personal dignity, family stability, peace in the community,

democracies that deliver for people

economic growth that expands opportunities for productive jobs and enterprise development


Social protection innovations


Establishes entitle-


for socially excluded


Draws on and gives space to civil society and public action

Tax financed

Designed by government w civil society content



Rights based

discussion ii
  • What is the relationship between social protection and achieving each of the MDGs?
  • What would be the role of social protection, Rec 202 and other issues in the development agenda after 2015?


      • MDG goal discussion by tables : hunger, poverty, employment, child & maternal health, education (10 minutes)
      • Collect comments in plenary (10 minutes)
      • Short debate and summary and closing outlook (10 minutes)
reading list
Reading list

Michelle Bachelet, 2011, Social Protection Floor for a Fair and Inclusive Globalization, report of the Advisory Group chaired by Michelle Bachelet convened by the ILO with the collaboration of the WHO. ILO. centre/news/WCMS_166292/lang--en/index.htm

Armando Barrientos and Miguel Nino-Zarazua, Brooks World Poverty Institute, University of Manchester.. Social Transfers and Chronic Poverty. A Policy Analysis Research Project.

Stephen Devereux and Rachel Sabates-Wheeler 2004. Transformative Social Protection, IDS Working Paper 232. Brighton: IDS.

Stephen Devereux and Rachel Sabates-Wheeler, 2007. Debating Social Protection. Editorial Introduction. IDS Bulletin Vol 38 No 3. Pp. 1-7.

DFID, 2011, Cash Transfers. Evidence Paper. DFID Policy Division. London.

EU, 2012. Social protection in EU development cooperation. Report prepared for the EU by Simon Commander, Mark Davies, and Constantine Zaman. Brussels 2012. page 5.

Margaret Grosh et al. 2008, For protection and promotion: the design and implementation of effective safety nets. World Bank, Washington DC

Joseph Hanlon, Armando Barrientos, David Hulme, 2010, Just give money to the poor. The development revolution from the global South. Kumarian Press

Sri Wening Handayani, 2010.Enhancing Social Protection in Asia and the Pacific. The Proceedings of the Regional Workshop. Asian Development Bank. Manila..

Naila Kabeer, 2010, Can the MDGs provide a pathway to social justice. The challenge of intersecting inequalities. IDS and UN MDG Achievement Fund.


ILO, 2011, World Social Security Report. Providing Coverage in times of crisis and beyond. 2010-2011.

ILO, 2011, Social protection floors for social justice and a fair globalization. International Labour Conference, 101st Session, 2012. Report IV (1) . ILC.101/IV/1

Gabriele Koehler, 2009, Policies towards social inclusion. Global Social Policy: 9. pp. 24-29,

Gabriele Köhler, Marta Calì, Mariana Stirbu. Rethinking Poverty and Social Exclusion Responses in Post-Conflict Nepal: Child-Sensitive Social Protection. Children, Youth and Environments 19(2), 2009.

Koehler, Gabriele 2011 Transformative Social Protection: Reflections on South Asian Policy Experiences. IDS bulletin. Special issue: Social Protection for Social Justice. Vol.42, Issue 6.

Rachel Sabates-Wheeler, Rachel and Stephen Devereux, 2007, Social Protection for Transformation. IDS Bulletin Vol 38 No 3. Pp. 23-27.


UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. 2010. Rethinking Poverty. Report on the World Social Situation 2010. United Nations, New York.

UN, Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (1948)

UNDP 2011. Human Development Report 2011.

UNRISD, 2010. Combating Poverty and Inequality: Structural Change, Social Policy and Politics.

UN General Assembly, Outcome document of the High-level Plenary Meeting of the 65th session of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals. September 2010. A/64/L-72.

World Bank 2012. RESILIENCE, EQUITY, AND OPPORTUNITY. The World Bank’s Social Protection and Labor Strategy 2012–2022. Washington April 2012.