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Social Protection

Building social protection floors and comprehensive social security systems

Module IV: Building national consensus

Objective of the module:

  • To learn how to effectively advocate to the government for the adoption of  recommendations
  • To discuss the foundations for social contract in the participating countries
  • To learn about different ways to create awareness of the importance of social protection and social security schemes among people

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, II and III

Estimated duration of the module:

5 hours


Session 1: Advocacy to the government

Session 2: Building a social contract

Session 3: Creating a communication strategy and applying marketing techniques to social security

Checklist of questions that are answered through the module:

  • What are different methods to be used while presenting the recommendations to line ministries and national policy makers?
  • How to effectively lobby for endorsement of the recommendations and further, their implementation?
  • What are the foundations of social contract in my country and how does it influence social policy?
  • What methods can be used to create awareness among beneficiaries, workers, employers, social partners?
  • How can marketing techniques such as Marketing 3.0 be effectively used to increase membership of social security schemes?

Training methods:

Presentations, role plays, matrices, discussion between organisers and participants, knowledge fair

Material to be distributed to participants:

Planning Grid for Advocacy and Strategic Communications

Physical media required:

Writing paper and pens for the role plays, white board, markers, laptops, LCD projector

Module IV: Building national consensus

Session 1 (150 min):

This session is designed to explain to participants, the process of advocating to the Government for endorsement of the assessment report and proposed social security provisions. After all the steps of the ABND process have been completed and different scenarios (including low and high) have been designed, it is important to present them to the government in the right way, so that they may be adopted and implemented. This includes presenting to line ministries, discussing with national policy makers, lobbying for the endorsement of schemes and their conversion to regulation. Further feasibility studies on the schemes may be conducted or pilot phases for their implementation may be done.

In order to educate participants on successful ways to pitch their recommendations to the government, this session is designed as a series of role plays with group members performing different roles. Participants are organised into the same groups as those for the case study session. Members of each group are asked to select specific roles that they would like to play, such as SPF team member, Ministry of Labour representative, worker, academician, and so on. To give participants a new perspective, they are encouraged to select a role that is different from what they do in real life.

Each of the groups has to select a scenario to propose to the Government. The groups should have calculated the cost of implementing the scenario using RAP, so that they can support their points with figures. All the groups are given 30 minutes to discuss among themselves and come up with compelling arguments to support their selected scenario. Each group comes to the forefront of the classroom and has 15 minutes for lobbying to the audience.

The audience comprises representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Social Affairs, employer and worker organizations, NGOs and international financial institutions. While one group is presenting, the remaining groups may form the audience and provide counter-arguments.

The role plays have been filmed and are available online for better understanding (Code: ASS_MOD4_VID_002). The instruction sheet (Code: ASS_MOD4_INST_001) gives further details on how this session is conducted. Photographs of this session are attached at the end of this module.

Session 2 (60 min):

This session is designed as a presentation and discussion on the building of a social contract in a country. To aid understanding, the instructor may give the example of the social contract basis in any one country. The presentation (Code: ASS_MOD4_PRES_003) is followed by a discussion between participants on the foundations of the social contract in their respective countries and the extent to which the social contract explains the social security system and policy options in that country. The social contract has a huge impact on the design of schemes and the process of creating awareness of social security. Background notes on social contract and its influence on social protection are also attached (Code: ASS_MOD4_DOC_004).

Session 3 (90 min):

It is essential to make the targeted beneficiaries aware of social security schemes, benefits, process of registering for the schemes and claiming benefits. This session aims at educating participants on the ways and methods to create a strategy to communicate with existing and potential beneficiaries.

The methods for creating awareness may be put into practice by the government, social agencies, employers using media such as newspapers, television, organising talks in communities, schools and offices, and so on. The presentation used in this session (Code: ASS_MOD4_PRES_006) is attached at the end of this module. The presentation includes the planning grid for Advocacy and Strategic Communications, a framework to communicate with any target group.

Participants are asked to divide into 4 groups which represent different target audiences, and fill the planning grid for the respective audience. The target audiences are politicians, children, women and ‘netizens’ (citizens of the Internet). The objective of the exercise is to create a strategy to communicate social security benefits to the target audience. The grids filled by participants (Code: ASS_MOD4_MTRX_012) are attached to this module.

During the presentation, the instructor shows a few videos that are powerful and create a strong impact on the audience. Participants are explained different marketing techniques such as Marketing 1.0 (focus on the schemes), Marketing 2.0 (focus on beneficiary needs and different target groups) and Marketing 3.0 (focus on people’s behavioural patterns and wants). It is explained that Marketing 3.0 techniques create a strong and long-lasting impact on people. For instance, the videos on drunken driving, speeding, health and life insurance are simple, focused and effective. Such kinds of videos can be used as a powerful tool to reach the target audience. These videos can be accessed through the online Guide.

For photographs of the session, please click here.

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

Challenges faced:

Lobbying for endorsement of changes to the social security system or implementation of new schemes can be a long and tricky process as it involves several stakeholders. There may be differences in the opinions and priorities of different parties. It is essential to make people reach a consensus on the social security reforms which are feasible and most beneficial for the country. In some regions and socio-economic contexts, arguments advocating the right to social security may have to be supplemented by other arguments such as a positive rate of return and impact on poverty reduction. Also, if changes to the social security system in the country are recommended, then such changes should be in accordance with the Government’s vision for society and the “social contract”.

It is of the utmost importance to make the beneficiary groups aware of the existence of social security schemes and the process of availing benefits. Often it may be difficult to get the message across to all people, especially when they live in remote areas or do not have access to print and other media. It is also essential to educate people on social security concepts so that they understand their rights to avail benefits and their obligations in financing of social security through taxes or social contributions. This process of education should start as soon as possible through civil instruction.


Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

  • Presentation on Creating a communication strategy (ASS_MOD4_PRES_006)
  • Video on Appealing to emotions: drunk driving (ASS_MOD4_VID_007)
  • Video on Appealing to emotions: speed driving (ASS_MOD4_VID_008)
  • Advertisement for health insurance (ASS_MOD4_VID_009)
  • Advertisement for life insurance (ASS_MOD4_VID_010)
  • Talk on Window of opportunity for social protection (ASS_MOD4_VID_011)
  • Planning Grid for Advocacy and Strategic Communications (ASS_MOD4_MTRX_012)
  • Filming of the session (ASS_MOD4_VID_013)


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