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The Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I)

The UN Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I)

Members of the United Nations family are working closely together to establish social protection floors worldwide. The United Nations Development Group (UNDG) brings together 32 different development bodies, which have been encouraged to increase cooperation efforts in the area of social protection.

Building social protection floors is a demonstrated priority for the United Nations. In the wake of the global financial crisis, the UN Chief Executives Board established an UN-wide Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I), which set out to coordinate the UN’s development efforts in the area of social protection and provide better technical assistance with lasting and effective results.

That initiative was recently given new life when UNDG Chair and UNDP Executive Secretary Helen Clark and ILO Director-General Guy Ryder address a letter to UN Resident Coordinators (UNRCs) calling for a renewal of their efforts to establish social protection floors worldwide.


The Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I) Factsheet

A road map detailing the objectives and processes by which the SPF-I aims to integrate social protection floors into national, regional and global development strategies within the United Nations system.

 

 


SPF-I work happening in the regions:

The UNDG in Asia and the Pacific has spearheaded a UN-wide collaboration on extending social protection floors in the region, with more than 10 different agencies actively involved.  As members of the UNDG Asia-Pacific Thematic Working Group on Social Protection, all have been keen to share the collective experiences of the UN in building social protection floors throughout the region.

So far, different practices were studied, analysed, and compiled into a Social Protection Issues Brief, which has since served to inform regional and global discussions. A Good Practices Guide has also been produced, and serves as a resource package  providing knowledge and expertise for conducting an assessment based national dialogue (ABND), which is the first step towards implementing nationally defined social protection floors. It is based on real experiences of countries in Asia. Its standardized and systematic approach can serve several purposes, including training, self-learning, and conducting full-fledged ABND exercises at the national and regional levels.

A second good practices guide on coordinated social protection and services delivery is currently in development and will be submitted to the Asia-Pacific Thematic Working Group on Social Protection for consultation and additional inputs shortly.

A presentation on the latest progress in the region was made at the May 2015 UNDG regional meeting in Bangkok.

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Focal contacts

 

Nuno Cunha
Social Protection Specialist, Asia and the Pacific, cunhan@ilo.org 

Andrea Cuzyova
Regional Coordination Specialist, Regional UNDG Asia-Pacific Secretariat, andrea.cuzyova@one.un.org

 

Resources

UNDG-AP Social Protection Coordination Tool-kit

Commissioned by the UNDG-AP to support UNCTs in their work on improving social protection coordination, this toolkit provides policymakers and practictioners with an applied, adaptable framework with which to assess the state of coordination in their social protection systems, and provides examples of efforts to improve coordination from different countries around the world.

 


UNDG-AP Issues Brief on Social Protection

Commissioned by the UNDG-AP to support UNCTs in their work on social protection, the Issues Brief lays out a joint UN position on social protection in Asia and the Pacific and highlights potential entry points for UNCTs in supporting the development of national social protection strategies and the progressive and coordinated implementation of social protection. It also contains concrete examples of ongoing work on social protection in the region.

Social protection assessment based national dialogue. A good practices guide

This guide provides the knowledge and expertise for conducting an assessment based national dialogue (ABND) exercise, which is the first step towards implementing nationally defined social protection floors. It is based on real experiences of countries in Asia. Its standardized and systematic approach can serve several purposes, including training, self-learning, and conducting full-fledged ABND exercises at the national and regional levels.

Presentation - Progress on UNDG social protection collaboration in Asia-Pacific

This presentation documents progress in the Asia-Pacific region in UN collaboration on social protection extension through joint learning and operational activities among UNDG members in the region. It was presented at the May 2015 UNDG regional meeting in Bangkok.

 

In Africa, many countries have long had social insurance schemes for the formal sector that provide benefits to workers in full-time, paid employment who have contributed for a certain period of time. More recently, there has been an expansion of non-contributory social protection programs to cover informal sector workers and other contigencies.  

An Issues Brief detailing UN-wide action on social protection in the region was recently published.  The initiative to document good practices in social protection expansion and in UN cooperation was presented to and endorsed by the regional directors of UN agencies in East and Southern Africa at the April 2015 regional UNDG meeting in Nairobi. 

 

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Focal contacts

 

Luis Frota
Eastern and Southern Africa and ILO Country Office for South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, frotal@ilo.org

Valérie Schmitt
Chief, Social Policy, Governance and Standards Branch, schmittv@ilo.org

James Canonge
Social Protection Officer, canonge@ilo.org

 

Resources

UNDG-ESA Issues Brief on Social Protection

This Issues Brief provides an overview of joint activities among UN and other partners to expand and reform social protection in the Eastern and Southern Africa region,  It cites concrete examples of collaborations in at least seven countries and several regional initiatives, and details the way in which the UN system is working together toward the achievement of social protection components of the Sustainable Development Goals.


 

TORs - Author of Issues Brief (East and Southern Africa)

These terms of reference are those used to outlined the scope of ambition for the UNDG Social Protection Issues Brief for East and Southern Africa, including the outline of the document and responsibilities of the author.

 

 

In Africa, many countries have long had social insurance schemes for the formal sector that provide benefits to workers in full-time, paid employment who have contributed for a certain period of time. More recently, there has been an expansion of non-contributory social protection programs to cover informal sector workers and other contigencies.  

An Issues Brief detailing UN-wide action on social protection in the region is currently under development.  The initiative to document good practices in social protection expansion and in UN cooperation was presented to and endorsed by the regional directors of UN agencies in West and Central Africa at the April 2015 regional UNDG meeting in Nairobi.

final version of TORs (available in French only) for the author of the Brief is curently guiding the work.

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Focal contacts

 

Theopiste Butare
Social Protection Specialist, butare@ilo.org 

Valérie Schmitt
Chief, Social Policy, Governance and Standards Branch, schmittv@ilo.org

James Canonge
Social Protection Officer, canonge@ilo.org

 

Resources

TORs - Author of Issues Brief (West and Central Africa)- FRENCH ONLY

These terms of reference are those used to outlined the scope of ambition for the UNDG Social Protection Issues Brief for West and Central Africa, including the outline of the document and responsibilities of the author.

 


National social protection policies in West Africa: A comparative analysis

This article reviews these national social protection policies (or strategies) in ten countries in the sub-region (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal and Togo) and presents their contents, revealing a similarity of approach in the development of policies. Specifically, after having carried out a diagnostic study of social protection in their respective countries, the States followed seven distinct stages: defining a national vision, defining precisely what is meant by social protection, laying down the principles on which policies were to be based and finally setting out the general objectives, key areas and mechanisms for implementing and financing their national social protection policies.

 

The Regional UNDG Team for Europe and Central Asia (ECA R-UNDG) has endorsed the creation of a Thematic Working Group (TWG) on Social Protection comprised of regional and country-level experts from an array of UN agency active on social protection in the region.  The TWG carries out three principle types of activities, including i) support for in-country activities, ii) knowledge development and sharing and iii) development of common positions and advocacyrepresentatives.

For those consultations, draft TORs were circulated and a presentation made to regional directors of UN agencies in Europe and Central Asia at the May 2015 regional UNDG meeting in Geneva.

An announcement regarding the TWG's creation will follow from the ECA R-UNDG Secretariat to UNCTs and UNRCs in the region with a request for proposals for joint in-country activities.

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Focal contacts

 

Sheila Marnie
UNDP, Istanbul, sheila.marnie@undp.org

Joanne Bosworth
UNICEF Central and Eastern Europe, CIS, jbosworth@unicef.org

Valérie Schmitt
Chief, Social Policy, Governance and Standards Branch, schmittv@ilo.org

James Canonge
Social Protection Officer, canonge@ilo.org

 

Resources

Agenda: Second meeting (April 2017 - Istanbul)

The R-UNDG Europe and Central Asia Issue-based Coalition for Social Protection had its second and first-ever face-to-face meeting in April 2017, following an inaugural virtual meeting in May 2016. The meeting was hosted by UNDP at their regional hub in Istanbul and included the participation of more than 25 regional and national IBC representatives. The agenda included several working sessions for group members to elaborate the joint policy and advocacy messages for social protection in the region, as well as several knowledge-sharing sessions delivered by representatives of group member countires.

Participant list: Second meeting (April 2017 - Istanbul)

Beyond the initial 4 agencies (ILO, UNDP, UNICEF and WHO) and 7 countries (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan and Ukraine) represented in 2016, the 2017 meeting hosted representative from a total of 7 agencies (adding 3 new agencies: FAO, UNFPA, UN Women and WFP) and 11 countries (adding 4 new countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Turkey and Uzbekistan).

R-UNDG ECA Working Group on Social Protection: Second meeting (April 2017 - Istanbul)

The R-UNDG Europe and Central Asia Issue-based Coalition for Social Protection had its second and first-ever face-to-face meeting in April 2017, following an inaugural virtual meeting in May 2016. The meeting was hosted by UNDP at their regional hub in Istanbul and included the participation of more than 25 regional and national IBC representatives. The agenda included several working sessions for group members to elaborate the joint policy and advocacy messages for social protection in the region, as well as several knowledge-sharing sessions delivered by representatives of group member countires.

Financing Social Protection: Second meeting (April 2017 - Istanbul)

Beyond the initial 4 agencies (ILO, UNDP, UNICEF and WHO) and 7 countries (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan and Ukraine) represented in 2016, the 2017 meeting hosted representative from a total of 7 agencies (adding 3 new agencies: FAO, UNFPA, UN Women and WFP) and 11 countries (adding 4 new countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Turkey and Uzbekistan).

Tajikistan: Joint Efforts to Support Social Protection Reforms: Second meeting (April 2017 - Istanbul)

Beyond the initial 4 agencies (ILO, UNDP, UNICEF and WHO) and 7 countries (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan and Ukraine) represented in 2016, the 2017 meeting hosted representative from a total of 7 agencies (adding 3 new agencies: FAO, UNFPA, UN Women and WFP) and 11 countries (adding 4 new countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Turkey and Uzbekistan).

Kyrgyz Republic: Assessment-based National Dialogue (ABND) on Social Protection Floors: Second meeting (April 2017 - Istanbul)

Beyond the initial 4 agencies (ILO, UNDP, UNICEF and WHO) and 7 countries (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan and Ukraine) represented in 2016, the 2017 meeting hosted representative from a total of 7 agencies (adding 3 new agencies: FAO, UNFPA, UN Women and WFP) and 11 countries (adding 4 new countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Turkey and Uzbekistan).

Kyrgyz Republic: The UN System in the Kyrgyz Republic: Second meeting (April 2017 - Istanbul)

Beyond the initial 4 agencies (ILO, UNDP, UNICEF and WHO) and 7 countries (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan and Ukraine) represented in 2016, the 2017 meeting hosted representative from a total of 7 agencies (adding 3 new agencies: FAO, UNFPA, UN Women and WFP) and 11 countries (adding 4 new countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Turkey and Uzbekistan).

Uzbekistan: Showcasing of Country Experience (April 2017 - Istanbul)

Beyond the initial 4 agencies (ILO, UNDP, UNICEF and WHO) and 7 countries (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan and Ukraine) represented in 2016, the 2017 meeting hosted representative from a total of 7 agencies (adding 3 new agencies: FAO, UNFPA, UN Women and WFP) and 11 countries (adding 4 new countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Turkey and Uzbekistan).

Albania: UN Support to Social Inclusion (April 2017 - Istanbul)

Beyond the initial 4 agencies (ILO, UNDP, UNICEF and WHO) and 7 countries (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan and Ukraine) represented in 2016, the 2017 meeting hosted representative from a total of 7 agencies (adding 3 new agencies: FAO, UNFPA, UN Women and WFP) and 11 countries (adding 4 new countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Turkey and Uzbekistan).

Presentation: Introduction to the R-UNDG ECA Working Group on Social Protection (May 2016)

This presentation outlines the history of the R-UNDG ECA Working Group on Social Protection, and progress to date.  It was delivered at the virtual, first meeting of national and regional focal points of the Group on 30 May 2016. 

 


Presentation: Towards a Joint Position on Social Protection in Europe and Central Asia (May 2016)

This presentation introduces the proposal to develop a joint UN position paper on social protection in Europe and Central Asia to be developed under the auspices of the R-UNDG Working Group on Social Protection.   It was delivered at the virtual, first meeting of national and regional focal points of the Group on 30 May 2016. 

 


Presentation: The Assessment-based National Dialogue (ABND) Tool (May 2016)

This presentation outlines the design, features and applications to date of the Assessment-based National Dialogue (ABND) tool developed by the UN system.   It was delivered at the virtual, first meeting of national and regional focal points of the Group on 30 May 2016. 

 


Presentation: The UNDG Asia-Pacific Social Protection Coordination Tool-kit (May 2016)

This presentation outlines the design, features and applications to date of the UNDG Asia-Pacific Social Protection Coordination Tool-kit developed by the corresponding working group on social protection in the Asia-Pacific region operating under UNDG auspices.   It was delivered at the virtual, first meeting of national and regional focal points of the Group on 30 May 2016. ¿

 


Presentation: Guide on Drafting Social Security Law (May 2016)

This presentation outlines the design, features and applications to date of the Guide on Drafting Social Security Law, which is currently under development.   It was delivered at the virtual, first meeting of national and regional focal points of the Group on 30 May 2016. 

 


Presentation: Social Protection in Ukraine (May 2016)

This report presents the lastest activities and social protection situational analysis in Ukraine.  It was delivered at the virtual, first meeting of national and regional focal points of the R-UNDG Working Group on Social Protection, which took place on 30 May 2016. 

 


Recommendations Adopted at the Second Assessment-based National Dialogue on Social Protection Floors in the Kyrgyz Republic

These recommendations on the Assessment-based National Dialogue (ABND) process in Kyrgyzstan were adopted by the Working Group of ABND on Social Protection Floors on 19 May 2016.

 


Survey Results - Attitudes and priorities for social protection in Europe and Central Asia

From 25 January to 3 February 2016, responses were collected from members of the R-UNDG ECA WG on SP in an initial survey for gauging attitudes and priorities for the UN’s social protection development assistance efforts in countries represented inside the Group. The results were communicated to Group members on 17 February 2016.


TORs - UNDG Thematic Working Group on Social Protection in Europe and Central Asia

The draft TORs for a UNDG Thematic Working Group on Social Protection in Europe and Central Asia was preliminary negotiated among UNICEF, UNDG and the ILO before being formally presented to and endorsed by the regional directors of UN agencies in Europe and Central at the May 2015 regional UNDG meeting in Geneva.


Presentation - UNDG Thematic Working Group on Social Protection in Europe and Central Asia

This presentation for a UNDG Thematic Working Group on Social Protection in Europe and Central Asia was presented to the regional directors of UN agencies in Europe and Central at the May 2015 regional UNDG meeting in Geneva.


Issues Brief 6: Building more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous societies in Europe and Central Asia. A common United Nations vision for the post-2015 development agenda

This brief presents the situation of social protection in Europe and Central Asia. It presents a short story of social protection in the region. It contains policy issues to be considered by the new policy agenda.

 

Despite persistent poverty, inequalities, the economic crisis and recurrent environmental disasters, social protection coverage in the Latin America and Caribbean region has been continuously expanding.  Since 2000, more people now have access to a social protection that mitigates poverty and the risk of becoming poor due to a host of potential life contingencies, including old age, disability, loss of employment and others.

In fact, several Latin American countries are among the first in the world to have created formal social security schemes in the early 20th century, among which Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.

The ILO, along with its UN partners is working to continue the pioneering work in social protection of Latin American and Caribbean countries.  The UNDG regional thematic group on social protection is the premier UN inter-agency body working on social protection in the region.

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Focal contacts

 

Valérie Schmitt
Chief, Social Policy, Governance and Standards Branch, schmittv@ilo.org

James Canonge
Social Protection Officer, canonge@ilo.org

 

Resources

El Papel de los Pisos de Protección Social en América Latina y el Caribe

Commissioned by the ILO to take stock of the state of social protection floor protection in Latin America and the Caribbean, this policy paper identifies gaps in coverage as well as recent social protection advances in in the region to secure the four guarantees of the social protection floor, and presents possible recommendations for a future extension of social protection in the region.

 

 

Efforts in the Arab States, including North Africa, will focus on documenting the different experiences of UN agencies across the region and building toolkits to work as one UN to extend social protection floors and to mainstream SPFs through regional UNDG policies and guidelines and into national development plans. 

 
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Focal contacts

 

Atif Khurshid
Programme Specialist, Social Protection and Economic Development, UNDP, Amman, atif.khurshid@undp.org

Valérie Schmitt
Chief, Social Policy, Governance and Standards Branch, schmittv@ilo.org

James Canonge
Social Protection Officer, canonge@ilo.org

 

Resources

TORs - UNDG-Arab States Thematic Working Group on Social Protection

The TORs for a UNDG Thematic Working Group on Social Protection in the Arab States region is a product of contributions from UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, UNDP and the ILO.

 

 


Presentation - UNDG-Arab States Thematic Working Group on Social Protection

The concept of a R-UNDG Thematic Working Group on Social Protection in the Arab States region was presented at the 9 March 2016 R-UNDG Arab States meeting of directors in Cairo.

 

 


TORs - UNDG-Arab States Issues Brief on Social Protection

These terms of reference are those used to outline the scope of ambition for the UNDG Social Protection Issues Brief for the Arab States region, including the outline of the document and responsibilities of the author.

 


Concept Note - UNDG-Arab States Thematic Working Group on Social Protection

The Concept Note for a UNDG Thematic Working Group on Social Protection in the Arab States region is a product of contributions from UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, UNDP and the ILO.

 

 


 

 

Efforts at the global level will focus on documenting the different experiences of UN agencies across regions and building global toolkits to work as one UN to extend social protection floors, to mainstream SPFs through UNDG policies and guidelines and to eventually conduct capacity building courses through the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) and other venues.

Recent endorsements and calls for additional activities to be conducted under the SPF-I umbrella have been made by the head of the UN's Development Operations and Coordination Office in March 2015 and jointly by the UNDG Chair and ILO Director-General in March 2014.

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Focal contacts

 

Valérie Schmitt
Chief, Social Policy, Governance and Standards Branch, schmittv@ilo.org

James Canonge
Social Protection Officer, canonge@ilo.org

 

Resources

Social protection assessment-based national dialogue. A global guide

This guide helps users to conduct assessment-based national dialogue (ABND) exercises, which are the first step towards implementing nationally defined social protection floors (SPFs). The ABND exercise is based on national multi-stakeholder dialogue concerning social protection strategies, challenges and concrete areas of action. It offers a unique opportunity for UN agencies to build on the synergies of one another and deliver as “One UN” for more efficiency and greater impact. ILO, 2016.


Training package: Delivering SPFs as One UN

This training was delivered in Berlin on 15 April 2016 as part of the United Nations System Staff College's Reflection Series on highlighting priority actions to advance development efforts of the UN system in middle-income countries. The package (.zip) includes materials for interactive exercises, presentations, worksheets, background information and more.

 


Letter on SPF-I from UN DOCO Director Kanni Wignaraja

This letter from the UN Department Operations and Coordination Office Director Kanni Wignaraja recognizes efforts conducted under the SPF-I and calls for additional joint in-country activities (assessments, dialogues, and coordination exercises) and the development of regional working groups and knowledge products (good practice guides and applied tool-kits).

 


Letter from UNDG Chair and ILO Director General to all UN Resident Co-ordinators and UN Country Teams

This letter from the UNDG Chair Helen Clark and ILO Director-General Guy Ryder calls upon UN Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams to i) build or strengthen One UN national social protection floor teams, ii) support national dialogues for designing and implementing nationally-appropriate social protection floors, iii) assist countries in the analysis of their social protection needs, iv) promote floors as instruments to advance inclusive and sustainable development, and v) strengthen their ability to collect the data needed to analyze needs and existing provisions.