Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

Universal social protection is key to sustained inclusive economic and social development, for individuals, communities and nations. It is also a human right. The USP2030 partnership joins forces of all actors who want to turn this right into reality.

Call to Action


A world where anyone who needs social protection can access it at any time

Universal social protection refers to a nationally defined system of policies and programmes that provide equitable access to all people and protect them throughout their lives against poverty and risks to their livelihoods and well-being. This protection can be provided through a range of mechanisms, including in cash or in-kind benefits, contributory or non-contributory schemes, and programmes to enhance human capital, productive assets, and access to jobs. This includes adequate cash transfers for all who need it, especially: children; benefits/support for people of working age in case of maternity, disability, work injury or for those without jobs; and pensions for all older persons.

Why Universal Social Protection?

  • It prevents and reduces poverty, promotes social inclusion and dignity of vulnerable populations
  • It contributes to economic growth: raising incomes increases consumption, savings and , investment at the household level, and raises domestic demand at the macro level
  • It promotes human development: cash transfers facilitate access to nutrition and education, thus resulting in better health outcomes, higher school enrolment rates, reduced school drop-out rates, and a decline in child labor
  • It increases productivity and employability by enhancing human capital and productive assets
  • It protects individuals and families against the losses due to shocks, whether they be pandemics, natural disasters, or economic downturns
  • It builds political stability and social peace, reducing inequalities, social tensions and violent conflict; social protection ensure greater social cohesion and participation
  • It is a human right that everyone, as a member of society, should enjoy, including children, mothers, persons with disabilities, workers, older persons, migrants, indigenous peoples and minorities


2nd Membership Assembly, 2 March 2021, 13:00 – 17:00 UCT

  • Welcome & introduction: The five USP2030 Actions in the context of COVID-19 crisis responses, recovery, and beyond: Watch the recording
  • Panel discussion: Sustainable, adequate and innovative sources of financing for universal and adaptive social protection: Watch the recording
  • Panel discussion: Social protection delivery systems: Using digital technology, protecting human rights and developing standardized solutions: Watch the recording

Past USP2030 Events

High Level International Conference ‘Together to Achieve Universal Social Protection by 2030’, Geneva, 5 February 2019 : Watch the recording in English | French | Spanish

Launch of USP 2030 at the UN General Assembly, New York, 21 September 2016

China High Level Event to Achieve the SDGs on Universal Social Protection, Beijing, 6-8 September 2016

USP2030 Call to Action

USP2030 urges countries and international partners to support the global commitment to implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors (SDG 1.3) by 2030, through the following actions, centred around the core principles of universal social protection:

  • ACTION 1. Protection throughout life cycle: Establish universal social protection systems, including floors, that provide adequate protection throughout the life cycle, combining social insurance, social assistance and other means, anchored in national strategies and legislation;
  • ACTION 2. Universal coverage: Provide universal access to social protection and ensure that social protection systems are rights-based, gender-sensitive and inclusive, leaving no one behind;
  • ACTION 3. National ownership: Develop social protection strategies and policies based on national priorities and circumstances in close cooperation with all relevant actors;
  • ACTION 4. Sustainable and equitable financing: Ensure the sustainability and fairness of social protection systems by prioritizing reliable and equitable forms of domestic financing, complemented by international cooperation and support where necessary;
  • ACTION 5. Participation and social dialogue: Strengthen governance of social protection systems through institutional leadership, multi-sector coordination and the participation of social partners and other relevant and representative organisations, to generate broad-based support and promote the effectiveness of services.

Making USP a reality

Under the co-leadership of the World Bank and the International Labour Organisation, USP2030 partners work together to increase the number of countries that provide universal social protection, supporting countries to design and implement universal and sustainable social protection systems, in line with the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, and in particular target 1.3 of the sustainable development goals (SDG 1.3). Actions include coordinating country support to strengthen national social protection systems, knowledge development to document country experience and provide evidence on financing options and advocacy for integrating universal social protection.

USP progress in countries

Countries that have achieved effective universal coverage in at least one branch of social protection (dark blue: country briefs are available)

USP2030 Publications

USP2030 Country Cases

Partners’ support : How do USP 2030 partners support countries?

Germany: A Systems Perspective on Universal Social Protection, BMZ, January 2019 | GIZ Global Alliances for Social Protection

ILO: ILO Flagship programme | World Social Protection Report 2017-19

World Bank: World Bank Social Protection Strategy 2012-2022 | World Development Report 2019

Tracking progress towards USP 2030

The partnership aims to provide information on progress achieved regarding universal social protection, in line with the monitoring framework for the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The partnership will also keep track of its own effectiveness in contributing to this agenda.

Keeping track of SDG 1.3

As part of SDG 1 to end poverty in all its forms everywhere, target 1.3. of the agenda 2030 calls upon states to “Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measure for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and vulnerable.”


Governance structure

How to join USP2030

Members of the Global Partnership USP2030


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