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Social Protection

Building social protection floors and comprehensive social security systems

Module III: Scenarios and Costing

Objective of the module:

  • To learn how to convert recommendations into scenarios
  • To learn about costing methodologies and understand the Rapid Assessment Protocol tool (basic and advanced)
  • To analyse the affordability of a scheme and to understand the impact of implementing a scheme on fiscal space

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


Completion of Modules I and II

Estimated duration of the module:

11 hours and 30 minutes


Session 1: Presentation on conversion of recommendations into scenarios

Session 2: Practice session on conversion of recommendations into scenarios

Session 3: Costing methodologies and the Rapid Assessment Protocol

Session 4: Practice session on RAP – costing one scenario

Session 5: Practice session on RAP – costing scenarios in groups

Session 6: Presentation of the results of costing

Session 7: Advanced session on using RAP

Session 8: Practice session on advanced RAP concepts

Session 9: Analysing affordability of schemes and impact on fiscal space

Checklist of questions that are answered through the module:

  • How to convert recommendations into scenarios?
  • What are different costing tools?
  • How to use the RAP?
  • How to use the different sheets of RAP?
  • How to obtain data required for using the RAP?
  • What is the impact of the recommendations on the fiscal space?
  • How to convince governments of the financial viability of social security schemes?
  • What are the different ways to analyse the impact of social security schemes on people?
  • What are the advanced RAP concepts?

Training methods:

Presentations, group exercises, exercises on spreadsheets, knowledge fair

Material to be distributed to participants:

Excel spreadsheets to be used for the RAP exercises

Physical media required:

Chart papers for writing scenarios, coloured pens, board to pin up chart papers, white board, markers, laptops, LCD projector

Module III: Scenarios and Costing

Session 1 (60 min):

The objective of this module is to develop scenarios so that the cost of implementing them can be calculated. To consider an example, a recommendation might be “To extend HIV testing and treatment to all”. This may be converted into the following scenarios:

  1. HIV testing for the high-risk population, regular checkups for people with HIV, treatment for those who require it. As this is the minimum package that can be extended to the people, this scenario may be termed as a “low scenario”.
  2. HIV testing for the reproductive age group (15-49 years), regular checkups for people with HIV, treatment for those who require it. This package covers most of the tests and treatments for HIV; hence this scenario may be termed as a “high scenario”. This scenario will have a higher implementation cost.

Participants may also design additional scenarios, which fall between the high and low scenarios. The conversion of recommendations into scenarios is explained through a presentation (Code: ASS_MOD3_PRES_001) along with the example of a country where the process has recently been carried out.

Session 2 (60 min):

The six groups are asked to convert the recommendations in their assessment matrices into three scenarios. In this process, each group is assisted by a facilitator. Participants are provided with A3 sized chart papers to write the scenarios. The groups are also advised to identify the low and high scenarios for their respective guarantees. This session has been filmed (Code: ASS_MOD3_VID_003).

For photographs of the session, please click here.

Session 3 (90 min):

The designing of scenarios is followed by calculating the cost of introducing them. A costing tool used by ILO is the Rapid Assessment Protocol (RAP). This session aims at explaining how to use the RAP and fill all the output cells. The presentations for this session are attached at the end of this module.

Session 4 (90 min):

To give participants experience in using the RAP, the presentation is followed by a practice session. The instructor identifies one scenario and explains how to use the RAP to calculate the cost of that scenario. In this session, the instructor and participants do the costing exercise at the same time, to facilitate better understanding.

A spreadsheet (Code: ASS_MOD3_EXC_008) is circulated to all the groups for this exercise. The input sheets of POP, EAP, ECO and GGO are filled before circulation and cannot be changed. The sheets contain the following information:

  1. Population (POP): This sheet indicates the demographic framework of the country and contains data on number of people in different age groups. It also contains the break-up between male and female people in different age groups. The data is projected until 2020.
  2. Economically Active Population (EAP): This sheet indicates the number of people in the country who are part of the labour force. It also gives the number of economically active people in different age groups and belonging to both genders. The data is projected until 2020.
  3. Macroeconomic Framework (ECO): This sheet contains economic indicators such as average and minimum monthly wage, labour productivity, unemployment rate, poverty level, GDP, health expenditure. The data is projected until 2020.
  4. General Government Operations (GGO): This sheet provides Central Government revenues and expenditure until 2020. It also gives the sources of deficit financing.

An instruction sheet (Code: ASS_MOD3_INST_007) for performing this exercise is attached. It contains the list of parameters, their definitions and formulae. It also gives the parameters which are to be filled by instructors before the exercise, and the ones which are to be calculated by participants.

Session 5 (90 min):

This session serves to give participants further experience in using the RAP. Each group has already defined a few scenarios in Session 2. The groups are asked to calculate the cost of implementing these scenarios using the RAP model (Code: ASS_MOD3_EXC_008). Following this, the groups each propose one scenario to the government for implementation. The implementation cost (benefit and administrative costs for the entire target population) in 2020 of the proposed scenario must not exceed the budget money allotted to the group in Jeopardy and Who wants to be a Protectionaire?

An instruction sheet (Code: ASS_MOD3_INST_009) for performing this exercise is attached, similar to the instruction sheet for the previous costing exercise. Each of the groups is given the RAP model with input sheets such as POP, EAP, ECO and GGO filled beforehand. The groups have to fill the “Benefit” and “Summary” sheets for their respective guarantees. The solution to the RAP model (Code: ASS_MOD3_EXC_010) is attached. This RAP solution follows the solution to the cases given in Module II and scenarios designed on the basis of the case solutions. However, please note that this is in no way, a unique solution. If participants design different scenarios, the cost of implementation would be different. This RAP solution may be used by instructors and facilitators as a guiding point to conduct this session.

Session 6 (90 min):

In this session, each group nominates one member who will present the results of the costing done by them in the previous session. The nominee has to explain the scenarios designed by the group, benefits and target population, cost of providing the benefits and administration cost, and assumptions made by the group in their calculations. An instruction sheet (Code: ASS_MOD3_INST_012) for conducting this session has been provided.

Session 7 (60 min):

This is an advanced session on using the RAP. Participants are explained how to procure input data for and fill the POP, EAP, ECO and GGO sheets. These sheets are identified by their blue colour coding in the circulated spreadsheets. Depending on the experience and background of the participants, instructors can explain the RAP concepts in further detail. The presentations for this session (Code: ASS_MOD3_PRES_014 and Code: ASS_MOD3_PRES_015) are attached.

Session 8 (60 min):

Following the presentation, a practice session is organised for participants to understand how to fill the input RAP worksheets. All participants perform 4 spreadsheet exercises. They are guided by the instructors and assisted by the 6 group facilitators. The Excel exercises, solutions and instructions on performing the exercises are attached at the end of this module.


Session 9 (90 min):

This session includes a presentation (Code: ASS_MOD3_PRES_020) on affordability of proposed social security schemes and their impact on fiscal space. The instructors may go into detail on the rights based approach, available fiscal space, increase of the fiscal space through budget reallocations or tax reforms, investment on people and return on investment, and reduction of poverty as different means to convince the Government of the viability of social security schemes.

Participants may be given a practical exercise to compute the cost of implementation of schemes as a proportion of Government budget and the country’s GDP. The groups are asked to represent the cost of their proposed scenario as a proportion of budget and GDP through the use of graphs. In this activity, the groups are assisted by the instructors and facilitators. The presentation on fiscal analysis is available online (Code: ASS_MOD3_VID_021).

Based on the experience of participants, additional sessions may be conducted on increasing the fiscal space through budget reallocations or tax reforms, assessing the return on investment through the ‘Rate of Return’ model and impact of SPF interventions on poverty reduction.

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

Challenges faced:

Defining specific scenarios requires that the persons involved in conducting the ABND have done a thorough research while filling the assessment matrix. For instance, if the complete inventory of existing schemes has not been listed, it may not be possible to define the best possible scenarios. This must be highlighted to participants.

Also, obtaining data such as population, demographic distribution of a country and its projections for the future, GDP growth estimates and other economic indicators, projected increase in cost of running an existing scheme, and so on, may be a long and arduous process. The data may not be available from a single source, and persons conducting ABND may have to spend considerable effort in procuring the figures.


Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Session 5

Session 6

Session 7

Session 8

Session 9


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