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Social Protection

Building social protection floors and comprehensive social security systems

Module I: Introduction

Objective of the module:

  • To introduce participants to the concept of Social Protection and international labour standards on social security
  • To present the Social Protection Floor initiative launched by the UN and be acquainted with regional development in Asia and the Pacific
  • To be familiar with the theory of risk and insurance
  • To understand the objective of conducting the Assessment Based National Dialogue exercise, the process and its limitations

Target groups:

  • Representatives of ministries and working teams involved in the planning, financing and management of social security systems in a country; Ministry of Labour, Social Security Institutions, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Planning, and other Ministries
  • Representatives of worker and employer associations as well as civil society organizations
  • Social protection experts from UN agencies and NGOs



Estimated duration of the module:

7 hours and 30 minutes


Session 1: Opening remarks

Session 2: Introduction to the course and understanding course objectives

Session 3: Introduction of participants

Session 4: Determination of participants’ expectations from the course

Session 5: Introduction to social protection: definitions, international labour standards, social protection strategies and the Social Protection Floor

Session 6: Theory of insurance and risk assessment

Session 7: Situation in Asia and the Pacific region

Session 8: Introduction to Assessment Based National Dialogue

Session 9: Jeopardy

Knowledge fair

Checklist of questions that are answered through the module:

  • What is social security and social protection?
  • What is the Social Protection Floor?
  • What are the main points of Convention102, Recommendation202?
  • What are the basic concepts behind the theory of insurance?
  • What are the limitations of the Assessment Based National Dialogue exercise?

Training methods:

Presentations, group discussion, videos, distribution of brochures and factsheets, quizzes and exercises, games, knowledge fair

Material to be distributed to participants (attached to the module):

International labour standards, list of definitions, brochures and factsheets on social security and the SPF in Asia, ABND reports, G20 country briefs, examples and exercises on risk and insurance; a complete list of resources is given later

Physical media required:

Writing paper and pens, chart papers, coloured pens, board to pin up chart papers and the budget table, white board, markers, laptops, LCD projector, sound system

Module I: Introduction

Session 1 (15 min):

This session is for presentation of the opening remarks by the organisers, namely ILO and Chulalongkorn University.

Session 2 (15 min):

This is the first interaction between the instructors and participants on the course topic. Participants are initiated into the training with an introductory session on the course. The objective of this session is to give a general overview of the training course and illustrate the course objectives to the participants. In this session, the content of the different modules is also explained to participants. The presentation (Code: ASS_MOD1_PRES_003) is attached at the end of this module.

Session 3 (30 min):

To begin Module I, an introduction session for the participants is organised. Since this is the first day, the organisers may have the participants form 10 groups. The participants are asked to pick up a sheet of paper with a different number written on it. All number 1s are then grouped together, 2s together, and so on. The number of groups may vary with the number of participants. It is desirable to have a group size of 5-6 people.

Each participant introduces himself to the rest of his group by giving his name, country, organisation, an animal and a role that he identifies with. For instance, a participant may say that he is runner and hence identifies himself with a horse. He may think that he is suited to being a number cruncher, decision maker, consensus builder, leader or visionary.

One person from each group is then nominated to introduce his group to the rest of the participants. Participants take 15 minutes to form groups and introduce themselves. The nominated persons take a total of 10 minutes to introduce their respective groups (with 1 minute per group). Photographs taken during this session are attached.

For photographs of the session, please click here.

Session 4 (45 min):

This session is held to determine the expectations of the participants from the course. Two groups from the previous session are asked to merge together so that 5 groups are formed. This session can work as an ice-breaker and help the participants to get to know one another.

The groups are then asked to note down a list of their expectations, through the use of text and diagrams in a creative manner. The organisers should distribute chart papers, coloured pens and scissors to the groups. The completed papers are pinned up on a board for participants to view at any time during the course. The groups are given 30 minutes to organise themselves and finish their list of expectations. One person from each group presents the expectations of his group. This is expected to take 15 minutes (with 2 to 3 minutes per group). The instructions (Code: ASS_MOD1_INST_005) and expectation lists (Code: ASS_MOD1_DOC_006) made by participants are attached.

For photographs of the session, please click here.

Session 5: (60 min):

An introductory session to social protection is organised next. This session covers the terminologies commonly used in this field and their definitions, international labour standards such as the Convention 102 of 1952, Recommendation 202 of 2012 of the ILO, social security strategies adopted by countries and the concept of a Social Protection Floor (SPF). This is done in the form of presentations made by ILO and UNICEF (or other UN agencies). The presentation by ILO (Code: ASS_MOD1_PRES_010) and that by UNICEF (Code: ASS_MOD1_PRES_011) are attached at the end of this module.

Participants are shown videos on social security. Two such videos are given below:

  1. Right 22 of the Human Rights stipulates the right to Social Security. A video on social security created by the Youth for Human Rights Initiative (Code: ASS_MOD1_VID_008)
  2. A video on programmes and initiatives to achieve the SPF in certain countries (Code: ASS_MOD1_VID_009)

To make the session interactive, the organisers put question to the participants on social protection concepts. Brochures and factsheets on social protection are distributed to the participants.

The instructor may elaborate on the SPF as a basic and coordinated mechanism to provide a social protection guarantee to all residents and all children of a country and may also discuss successful implementation of the SPF, in full or part, in selected countries. A list of definitions of terms commonly used with respect to social protection is provided to the participants to better their understanding (Code: ASS_MOD1_DOC_012). The presentations, brochures and factsheets are attached at the end of this module.

Session 6: (60 min):

A session on the theory of risk assessment and insurance is organised in the form of a presentation. This session is designed to give an introduction to the concepts of probability, microeconomics of insurance, risk aversion, information asymmetry, adverse selection, moral hazard and J curve. To enable participants to understand the theoretical concepts better, the presentation is made in an interactive manner, with a question or a practical example following each concept.

The presentation (Code: ASS_MOD1_PRES_023) and list of terms commonly used in risk assessment and insurance (Code: ASS_MOD1_DOC_024) are attached.

Session 7 (45 min):

Following this, the organisers conduct a session to provide an overview of the social protection situation in Asia and the Pacific. This will discuss how various countries in the region stand with respect to developing their social security systems and highlight a few schemes which have been implemented successfully. The presentation developed by UNESCAP (Code: ASS_MOD1_PRES_026), G20 country briefs distributed to participants (Code: ASS_MOD1_DOC_027) and the UNESCAP publication titled ‘The promise of protection’ (Code: ASS_MOD1_DOC_028) are attached.

Session 8 (60 min):

This is followed by a presentation introducing the Assessment Based National Dialogue exercise. The session explains the objective and detailed process. The importance of ABND as a participatory approach to implementing successful and coordinated social security schemes is highlighted here. This session covers the three steps of ABND, i.e. building the assessment matrix, costing recommendations and presenting the finalised report. The limitations of conducting the ABND exercise are highlighted to participants. Brochures on ABND and the UN SPF team in Thailand are distributed to participants.

To facilitate better understanding, the example of a country where ABND has been carried out is given. A resource person involved in the recently carried out ABND process in Indonesia is invited to elaborate further on the process and the country experience. The presentation on ABND (Code: ASS_MOD1_PRES_029) is expected to be covered in 20 minutes. The presentation on the Indonesian experience is also attached (Code: ASS_MOD1_PRES_030). The organisers may organise a discussion between participants where countries that have already carried out the ABND exercise or are in the process of conducting it. Such countries share their experiences with other countries, especially those relatively new to the assessment process.

Session 9 (120 min):

In this session, a game quiz named Jeopardy is organised. Here the participants are divided into six new groups, with a mix of country and background. Each group represents one social security guarantee namely healthcare, children, working age, old age, maternity and HIV. It is desirable to have 7-8 people per group. Depending to the number of participants, additional groups may be created for guarantees such as disability. If there are fewer participants, maternity may be included under “working age” and HIV-AIDs may be included under “health care”. As there are six groups, a total of 24 questions are asked with four questions to each group.

The questions are designed on the social protection systems in the participating countries. This enables people to gain a better understanding of social protection development in the region. Each group starts playing the game with no points. Points are added or deducted for correct and wrong answers respectively. At the end of the quiz, the points for each group are calculated. This is converted to budget money. The money is allotted to groups for designing and implementing social protection scenarios in later modules. The budget for all the teams is recorded in the Budget Table (Code: ASS_MOD1_JEO_036) and pinned up on a board for future reference. The teams are given an opportunity to win further budget money in a later game called Who wants to be a ‘Protectionaire’?.

The questions are recorded in the Jeopardy presentation (Code: ASS_MOD1_JEO_035). The game has four rounds. In each round, a group nominates a representative who selects a question number. The representative asks the corresponding question to his group members, who discuss and select an answer from the options within a time limit of 45 seconds. There are special questions such as Joker (full points but no question!) or Jackpot (bonus points for answering the question correctly). The attached instruction sheet (Code: ASS_MOD1_JEO_034) gives further details on the game. Photographs taken during this session are attached.

For more information on how the sessions were conducted, please see the minutes of the workshop.

Knowledge fair

Note: Ideally this session should be organised during the lunch, coffee and dinner breaks every day

The ‘Knowledge fair’ aims to give participants practical experience of using the Global Extension of Social Security (GESS) platform, finding and sharing workspaces and resources on it. A demonstration on retrieval of information from the Social Security Inquiry (SSI) database is also conducted. A participant may come forward and request for specific information on a country, which is then obtained by an ILO resource person. Books, publications and reports on social protection are also put on display here.

Challenges faced:

The instructor must elaborate on the challenges involved in the implementation of this module. For instance, it is imperative and yet may be difficult to make all stakeholders realise the importance of conducting a coordinated effort to assess, discuss and implement a basic set of social security guarantees for the country.

The ABND exercise has several limitations:

  1. The exercise performs a very brief study of the management and governance of existing schemes and institutional capacities. It is recommended that governments and working teams perform a comprehensive analysis before scheme design and implementation.
  2. The Rapid Assessment Protocol (RAP) for costing takes into account flexibility in designing benefits, unavailability of complete data and estimates of future costs. The subsequent results are simplistic. It is recommended that detailed feasibility and actuarial studies are performed before designing the system.
  3. Low involvement of social partners throughout the assessment process may lead to problems during endorsement.


Session 1

Session 2

  • Presentation on Introduction to the course and understanding the course objectives (ASS_MOD1_PRES_003)

Session 3

  • Instruction sheet for conducting the Introduction session for participants (ASS_MOD1_INST_004)

Session 4

Session 5

Session 6

Session 7

  • Presentation on Current situation and development of social protection in Asia and the Pacific region (ASS_MOD1_PRES_026)
  • G20 country briefs for China, India, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Thailand (ASS_MOD1_DOC_027)
  • UNESCAP publication on The promise of protection (ASS_MOD1_DOC_028)

Session 8

Session 9


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