Development of Integrated Systems of Social Protection

Woman working in rice field

Even though social protection is a human right, more than 70% of the global population are not protected against lifecycle risks such as illnesses, unemployment, increasing poverty risks associated with old age or the loss of productive property. In many countries, traditional and solidarity-based communities are the only available social safety net. However, due to population dynamics, societal and cultural change, growing inequality as well as climate change and migration, these structures are increasingly pushed to their limits.

Social protection can protect people against lifecycle risks and prevent poverty. At the same time, it can promote pro-poor growth by strengthening the productivity and propensity to invest of the deprived population. A comprehensive social protection system is of particular importance for low and middle-income countries to ensure sustainable growth and reduce inequality.

On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the sector initiative strengthens the effectiveness and visibility of German development cooperation in the development and expansion of inclusive social protection systems. It focuses on the following areas:

  • Contributing to the international discourse
    The sector initiative supports BMZ in developing strategies for the international promotion of social protection and its implementation. It seeks to strengthen social protection in international agendas such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Financing for Development. The sector initiative supports BMZ in the Social Protection Inter-Agency Cooperation Board (SPIAC-B), a mechanism established at the request of the G20 Development Working Group, with the purpose of coordinating and improving international cooperation in the area of social protection.
  • Developing tools and methods
    The sector initiative works together with international and bilateral partners and aims to shape social protection systems in a sustainable and pro-poor way. The tools developed by the sector initiative cover a wide range and comprise analytical frameworks for national social protection strategies and programmes, instruments for the evaluation of social protection measures as well as specific methods for e.g. social assistance, social health protection as well as old-age protection, micro insurance and accident insurance.
  • Supporting partner countries
    The sector initiative supports low and middle-income countries to establish and expand social protection systems through the provision of practical concepts and advice to partner countries, in coordination with our local projects. It focuses on the development and piloting of innovative tools and approaches for the specific country contexts.
To increase efficiency and sustainability of the programmes as well as the resilience of the population, social protection strategies should be coordinated with those of other sectors, such as employment promotion and food security.  

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