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National and international actors

Updated by Clara van Panhuys on 30.08.2016


Each national Social Protection Floor (SPF) is owned by the State who has the ultimate responsibility for its implementation. Many countries already have some elements of a social protection floor in place or are in the process of implementing them – independently or with support from the global SPF Initiative.

Upon request from governments, the global SPF Initiative supports national SPF process through national inter-agency SPF Task forces or Working groups, comprised of:

  • Government institutions: ministries of labour, health, finance, agriculture, social security institutions, etc.
  • Non-governmental actors: social partners, national NGOs, etc.
  • UN inter-agency country teams and
  • technical and financial development partners present in the country

These national SPF-I processes are consultative, inclusive and participatory in nature, involving all stakeholders including representatives from the relevant government ministries, social partners, parliamentarians and civil society through social dialogue.


At the international level, the UN Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) has appointed the ILO together with the World Health Organization (WHO), to lead the global SPF Initiative.

Actors involved in the SPF-I (non-limitative list)

Action for Global Health, ABD, Brookings Institute, Concern, DFID, EC, Finland, France, GIPSPSI, Germany, GIZ, HelpAge International, ICWF, IMF, Luxemburg, MGEN - (the Education and Solidarity Network), Netherlands, OECE, OHCHR, Save the Children UK, SIDA, UNCEB, UNDESA, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHABITAT, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, WMO, World Bank.

The global SPF Initiative brings together an International Coalition, comprised of:

  • The Global Advisory network of UN agencies, the World Bank, the IMF and other organisations.

  • Development partners:Regional Development Banks, bilateral donors, NGOs


Furthermore, the high level SPF Advisory Group was established (chaired by Ms. Bachelet, former President of Chile and Director of UNWOMEN). Its aim is to enhance global advocacy, elaborate further global policy aspects regarding the SPF and provide general guidance in this area. The Group is preparing a flagship Global Social Protection Floor Report as an advocacy tool and as general guidance to support the implementation of national SPFs.



For good governance, the SPF Initiative transcends the mandate of any individual UN agency, and it is natural therefore that it is being implemented through a coherent, system-wide approach. Each UN agency offers cutting-edge advice in their respective areas of expertise to ensure the optimal use of knowledge, resources and logistical support.

An UN manual and strategic framework for joint UN country operations (produced in 2009) has been developed that provides guidance for joint SPF country operations. Furthermore, Social Protection Platform is an internet platform, at the service of the SPF- Initiative, that eanbles the sharing of knowledge and experiences while fostering and ensuring efficient and productive cooperation between the relevant organizations under the umbrella of the joint SPF Initiative.♦


Main Resources

The global financial crisis and its impact on the work of the UN system
UN CEB, 2009

Social Protection Floor Initiative Brochure
UN, ILO, WHO, 2010