New Policy in Focus brings latest discussions on how to achieve universal social protection by 2030

The new issue presents 10 articles about the Universal Social Protection webinar series, hosted in 2019 by the platform

Brasilia, 13 February—In the framework of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, according to target 1.3 of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 (End poverty in all its forms everywhere), nations must implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable by 2030. According to the World Social Protection Report 2017-19, 55 per cent of the global population do not have access to any type of social protection.  This illustrates that there is still a long way to go to achieve universal social protection.

Photo: Ubirajara Machado/MDS. Fisherman working, Amazonas, Brazil, 2014.

This special edition of the Policy in Focus magazine, titled Universal social protection: a target for all, is a partnership between the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) and the platform. It gathers articles based on the discussions addressed in the USP2030 webinars series, which was hosted by the platform in 2019 to promote knowledge-sharing and stimulate relevant discussions on universal social protection.

Opening the publication, Mariana Balboni and Aline Peres (IPC-IG) provide an overview of the pieces presented in the issue with the article “Challenges and opportunities for the expansion of social protection”. Next, we have Anush Bezhanyan’s and Luz Rodriguez’s (World Bank) thoughts on “Universal social protection in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, discussing the evolution and challenges of social protection over the years.

Maya Stern Plaza, Mira Bierbaum and Christina Behrendt, with inputs from Valérie Schmitt and Veronika Wodsak (ILO), contribute with the article “Universal social protection: key concepts and international framework”, where they present key indicators that can help assess progress towards universal social protection.

Subsequently, Anna McCord (ODI) discusses the “Limitations of the indicators for Sustainable Development Goal targets relating to social protection provision, in the context of universal social protection and USP2030”. She presents the findings of a study conducted by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), detailing the challenges and limitations of two of the indicators adopted for social protection provision in the SDGs.

The focus then shifts to southeast Asia, where Maliki, Hariyadi and Ramadhan Nizar Istighfarli (Bappenas) discuss “Indonesia policies towards universal social protection by 2030”. They present successful aspects of the country’s social policy, such as how the government prioritises the most vulnerable people and how increased social protection coverage has become a key instrument in the reduction of poverty and inequality in recent years. They also address problem areas, since 40 per cent of the country’s population is not yet covered by any social protection policy.

The next article is a discussion on Kenya. Cecilia Mbaka (Ministry of Labour and Social Protection) reflects on “Universal social protection in Kenya—achievements, challenges and opportunities”. Despite the progress made in recent years, there are still many problems to be solved. Effective investment in social protection interventions is currently one of the country’s biggest challenges.

Moving to Brazil, Rafael Guerreiro Osorio, Sergei S. D. Soares and Letícia Bartholo present the article “Creating fiscal space for social protection through reprogramming: the Brazilian case”, discussing options to increase fiscal space for social protection by reprogramming and redesigning existing, inefficient social schemes.

Next, in “Extending social security to workers in the informal sector: a view from the ground”, Laura Alfers (WIEGO) points out that the lack of social protection, combined with lower and more unstable incomes, leave informal workers at a higher risk of falling into poverty, and highlights the importance of including informal workers’ organisations in the design and implementation of social protection initiatives.

Mariaeleonora D’Andrea, Qiang Ma, Ana Ocampo and Omar Benammour (FAO) follow with a discussion on “Expanding social protection in rural areas, focusing on fisheries and forestry”. Their article reveals that workers from rural areas have the lowest rates of social protection coverage, and although there has been some progress, there are still significant challenges in developing effective social protection systems in these areas.

Closing the issue, we have Fekadu Kassa’s (IT Solutions TSS, Food Security Coordination Directorate) article on “Digital social protection in Ethiopia”, where he presents the design and implementation of a robust management information system for local social protection systems. The piece also proposes a model for the integration of social protection management information systems in the country.

The USP2030 webinars series will continue in 2020.


Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 17:15