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The Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I)

The Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I)

 

Members of the United Nations family are working closely together to establish social protection floors worldwide. The United Nations Development Group (UNDG) brings together 32 different development bodies, which have been encouraged to increase cooperation efforts in the area of social protection.

Building social protection floors is a demonstrated priority for the United Nations. In the wake of the global financial crisis, the UN Chief Executives Board established an UN-wide Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I), which set out to coordinate the UN’s development efforts in the area of social protection and provide better technical assistance with lasting and effective results.

That initiative was recently given new life when UNDG Chair and UNDP Executive Secretary Helen Clark and ILO Director-General Guy Ryder address a letter to UN Resident Coordinators (UNRCs) calling for a renewal of their efforts to establish social protection floors worldwide.


The Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I) Factsheet

A road map detailing the objectives and processes by which the SPF-I aims to integrate social protection floors into national, regional and global development strategies within the United Nations system.

 

 


You are invited to share, through the Resources section of the workspace, additional examples, supplementary material and tools, etc. which may be useful to UNDG Regional Teams or UN Country Teams or in their work on social protection.

The resources can be downloaded below in their respective regional sections.

The UNDG in Asia and the Pacific has spearheaded a UN-wide collaboration on extending social protection floors in the region, with more than 10 different agencies actively involved.  As members of the UNDG Asia-Pacific Thematic Working Group on Social Protection, all have been keen to share the collective experiences of the UN in building social protection floors throughout the region.

So far, different practices were studied, analysed, and compiled into a Social Protection Issues Brief, which has since served to inform regional and global discussions. A Good Practices Guide has also been produced, and serves as a resource package  providing knowledge and expertise for conducting an assessment based national dialogue (ABND), which is the first step towards implementing nationally defined social protection floors. It is based on real experiences of countries in Asia. Its standardized and systematic approach can serve several purposes, including training, self-learning, and conducting full-fledged ABND exercises at the national and regional levels.

A second good practices guide on coordinated social protection and services delivery is currently in development and will be submitted to the Asia-Pacific Thematic Working Group on Social Protection for consultation and additional inputs shortly.

A presentation on the latest progress in the region was made at the May 2015 UNDG regional meeting in Bangkok.

 

Workplan

 

  • UNDG Asia Pacific and ILO Regional Office Asia Pacific have sent a letter (co-signed by the UNDG A-P Chair and ILO Regional Director) to all UNRCs together with a complete resource package on the SPF; ILO Regional Director sent follow-up letter, and UNDG A-P Secretariat is also following up with our support
  • A draft UNDG A-P Tool-kit on Coordinating the Design and Implmentation on Nationally Defined Social Protection Floors has been created, and will be further developed by the UNDG A-P Thematic Working Group (TWG) on social protection.  The idea of for the tool-kit was decided jointly by the members of the TWG.  A first application of the tool-kit is tentatively planned for Nepal at the end of April.
  • ILO, as coordinating agency of the TWG, has asked for confirmation of TWG focal points from each agency.  If focal points from your agency have not yet been nominated, please send to the focal contact email addresses below.
  • Joint UN assessments of social protection using the ABND guide are on-going in 3 Asia-Pacific countries (Lao, Philippines, and Mongolia) and will contribute to the ABND guide v2 and ISPA tool.

 

Focal contacts

 

Valérie Schmitt
Chief, Social Policy, Governance and Standards Branch, schmittv@ilo.org

Andrea Cuzyova
Regional Coordination Specialist, Regional UNDG Asia-Pacific Secretariat, andrea.cuzyova@one.un.org

James Canonge
Social Protection Officer, canonge@ilo.org

 

Resources

DRAFT UNDG-AP Tool-kit on Coordinating the Design and Implementation of Nationally Defined Social Protection Floors

A draft tool-kit to assist in the coordination of design and implmentation of social protection floors, including the evaluation of existing coordination mechanisms and methods for improving coordination.  The tool-kit will be developed in concert with members of the regional UNDG A-P Technical Working Group on Social Protection, and include additional country example as per their suggestions.


UNDG-AP Issues Brief on Social Protection

Commissioned by the UNDG-AP to support UNCTs in their work on social protection, the Issues Brief lays out a joint UN position on social protection in Asia and the Pacific and highlights potential entry points for UNCTs in supporting the development of national social protection strategies and the progressive and coordinated implementation of social protection. It also contains concrete examples of ongoing work on social protection in the region.

Social protection assessment based national dialogue. A good practices guide

This guide provides the knowledge and expertise for conducting an assessment based national dialogue (ABND) exercise, which is the first step towards implementing nationally defined social protection floors. It is based on real experiences of countries in Asia. Its standardized and systematic approach can serve several purposes, including training, self-learning, and conducting full-fledged ABND exercises at the national and regional levels.

Presentation - Progress on UNDG social protection collaboration in Asia-Pacific

This presentation documents progress in the Asia-Pacific region in UN collaboration on social protection extension through joint learning and operational activities among UNDG members in the region. It was presented at the May 2015 UNDG regional meeting in Bangkok.

 

UN agencies in East and Southern Africa are working closely together on social protection through the UNDG office in Pretoria.

In Africa, Many countries have established contributory social insurance schemes for the formal sector that provide benefits based on statutory entitlements that are usually available only to workers in full-time, paid employment who have contributed for a certain period of time. In Africa, these schemes are often government schemes for public servants. The contingencies covered typically include old age (pension benefits which sometime also provide benefits in case of disability or death of the main bread winner) and employment injury. The least covered contingency is unemployment, followed by family, sickness and maternity benefits, which are usually directly provided by employers and not by social insurance schemes.

 

Workplan

 

  • The decision was made to develop an Issues Brief on social protection for UNDG WCA and ESA in Africa to document and disseminate good practices of UN collaboration on SP/F.  A concept note is available in English and French.
  • A consultant based in Addis Ababa has been hired to document ESA country experiences, and will conduct study visits to Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia before ultimately completing the Brief in May.
  • Agreement to work with a number of ESA countries on joint UN assessments of social protection (Mozambique, Zambia, and Lesotho); this work will contribute to the ABND guide v2 and ISPA tool
  • list of possible activities including and following the creation of an Issues Brief has also been prepared.

 

Focal contacts

 

Luis Frota
Eastern and Southern Africa and ILO Country Office for South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, frotal@ilo.org

Valérie Schmitt
Chief, Social Policy, Governance and Standards Branch, schmittv@ilo.org

James Canonge
Social Protection Officer, canonge@ilo.org

 

Resources

UNDG-ESA Issues Brief on Social Protection

This Issues Brief provides an overview of joint activities among UN and other partners to expand and reform social protection in the Eastern and Southern Africa region,  It cites concrete examples of collaborations in at least seven countries and several regional initiatives, and details the way in which the UN system is working together toward the achievement of social protection components of the Sustainable Development Goals.


 

TORs - Author of Issues Brief (East and Southern Africa)

These terms of reference are those used to outlined the scope of ambition for the UNDG Social Protection Issues Brief for East and Southern Africa, including the outline of the document and responsibilities of the author.

 

 

UN agencies in West and Central Africa are cooperating closely on social protection, through the UNDG office in Dakar.

In Africa, Many countries have established contributory social insurance schemes for the formal sector that provide benefits based on statutory entitlements that are usually available only to workers in full-time, paid employment who have contributed for a certain period of time. In Africa, these schemes are often government schemes for public servants. The contingencies covered typically include old age (pension benefits which sometime also provide benefits in case of disability or death of the main bread winner) and employment injury. The least covered contingency is unemployment, followed by family, sickness and maternity benefits, which are usually directly provided by employers and not by social insurance schemes.

 

Workplan

 

  • The decision was made to develop an Issues Brief on social protection for UNDG WCA and ESA in Africa to document and disseminate good practices of UN collaboration on SP/F.  A concept note is available in English and French.
  • We are currently finalizing the TORs for consultant(s) who will develop portions on the WCA countries, identifying qualified candidates and potential countries for study visits.
  • Agreement to work with a number of WCA countries on joint UN assessments of social protection (Niger and Malawi); this work will contribute to the ABND guide v2 and ISPA tool.
  • list of possible activities including and following the creation of an Issues Brief has also been prepared.

 

Focal contacts

 

Theopiste Butare
Social Protection Specialist, butare@ilo.org 

Valérie Schmitt
Chief, Social Policy, Governance and Standards Branch, schmittv@ilo.org

James Canonge
Social Protection Officer, canonge@ilo.org

 

Resources

TORs - Author of Issues Brief (West and Central Africa)- FRENCH ONLY

These terms of reference are those used to outline the scope of ambition for the UNDG Social Protection Issues Brief for West and Central Africa, including the outline of the document and responsibilities of the author.

 


National social protection policies in West Africa: A comparative analysis

This article reviews these national social protection policies (or strategies) in ten countries in the sub-region (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal and Togo) and presents their contents, revealing a similarity of approach in the development of policies. Specifically, after having carried out a diagnostic study of social protection in their respective countries, the States followed seven distinct stages: defining a national vision, defining precisely what is meant by social protection, laying down the principles on which policies were to be based and finally setting out the general objectives, key areas and mechanisms for implementing and financing their national social protection policies.

 

UN agencies in Europe and Central Asia, through the UNDG office in New York, have recently boosted efforts to cooperation in the area of social protection.

These efforts will continue to build upon the results of the regional consultation on the post-2015 development agenda held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 7–8 November 2013.

For those consultations, an advocacy paper and a separate issues brief were produced, outlining the state of social protection in the Europe and Central Asia region.

 

Workplan

 

The R-UNDG ECA Thematic Working Group on Social Protection was created in 2015.  A first, virtual meeting of the Group is planned for May 2016.  Discussions among facilitators in April 2016 covered the three (3) principle activities found in the Group's TORs (under Resources, below):

1)    Support for in-country operations

  • Relevance of this activity type confirmed as more in-country staff could benefit from the joint technical expertise of the regional group
  • Possible countries for action: Ukraine, Albania, Moldova and Tajikistan (with development of in-depth country studies), additionally, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and BiH

2)    Common positions and advocacy

  • Development of a joint UN position paper on social protection in the Europe and Central Asia region (draft outline to be shared by Sheila by end April)

3)    Knowledge development/sharing

  • R-UNDG ECA Social Protection “Issues Brief” w/ landscape analysis of SP activities and cooperation efforts to be developed in time for 2017 ILO regional labor conference
  • Outline: (i) an introduction based on an expanded version of our key messages; (ii) in-depth case studies, based on countries where we have implemented the approach; and (iii) inventory of relevant literature/ toolkits etc).

Tentative timeline and commitments:  

  • 28 April – communication sent to TWG members confirming virtual meeting date, sharing draft agenda and requesting interventions on country cooperation examples sent by James 
  • end April – draft presentation sent by Sheila to group for peer review
  • 11 May – Ukraine meeting (Joanne and Valérie now both representing TWG)
  • 24 May – 1st virtual TWG meeting
  • June – July – development of joint advocacy paper

 

Focal contacts

 

Sheila Marnie
UNDP, Istanbul, sheila.marnie@undp.org

Elena Gaia
UNICEF Central and Eastern Europe, CIS, egaia@unicef.org

Valérie Schmitt
Chief, Social Policy, Governance and Standards Branch, schmittv@ilo.org

James Canonge
Social Protection Officer, canonge@ilo.org

 

Resources

Survey Results - Attitudes and priorities for social protection in Europe and Central Asia

From 25 January to 3 February 2016, responses were collected from members of the R-UNDG ECA WG on SP in an initial survey for gauging attitudes and priorities for the UN’s social protection development assistance efforts in countries represented inside the Group. The results were communicated to Group members on 17 February 2016.


TORs - UNDG Thematic Working Group on Social Protection in Europe and Central Asia

The TORs for a UNDG Thematic Working Group on Social Protection in Europe and Central Asia was preliminary negotiated among UNICEF, UNDG and the ILO before being formally presented to and endorsed by the regional directors of UN agencies in Europe and Central at the May 2015 regional UNDG meeting in Geneva.


Presentation - UNDG Thematic Working Group on Social Protection in Europe and Central Asia

This presentation for a UNDG Thematic Working Group on Social Protection in Europe and Central Asia was presented to the regional directors of UN agencies in Europe and Central at the May 2015 regional UNDG meeting in Geneva.


Issues Brief 6: Building more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous societies in Europe and Central Asia. A common United Nations vision for the post-2015 development agenda

This brief presents the situation of social protection in Europe and Central Asia. It presents a short story of social protection in the region. It contains policy issues to be considered by the new policy agenda.

 


Advocacy Paper: Building more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous societies in Europe and Central Asia. A common United Nations vision for the post-2015 development agenda

This advocacy paper presents the situation of social protection in Europe and Central Asia. It presents a short story of social protection in the region. It contains policy issues to be considered by the new policy agenda.

 


Regional Consultation on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

This report presents the results of the regional consultation on the post-2015 development agenda held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 7–8 November 2013.

 

 


Regional CSO Consultations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

This report contains recommendations by representatives from Major Groups and other stakeholders presented at the regional consultation on the post-2015 development agenda held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 7–8 November 2013.

 

Despite persistent poverty, inequalities, the economic crisis and recurrent environmental disasters, social protection coverage in the Latin America and Caribbean region has been continuously expanding.  Since 2000, more people now have access to a social protection that mitigates poverty and the risk of becoming poor due to a host of potential life contingencies, including old age, disability, loss of employment and others.

In fact, several Latin American countries are among the first in the world to have created formal social security schemes in the early 20th century, among which Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.

The ILO, along with its UN partners is working to continue the pioneering work in social protection of Latin American and Caribbean countries.  The UNDG regional thematic group on social protection is the premier UN inter-agency body working on social protection in the region.

Workplan

 

  • The regional thematic group on social protection will start preparing a toolkit on SP financing after the ILO regional conference that will be held in October. Helmut is taking care of the process.

 

Focal contacts

 

Valérie Schmitt
Chief, Social Policy, Governance and Standards Branch, schmittv@ilo.org

James Canonge
Social Protection Officer, canonge@ilo.org

 

Resources

El Papel de los Pisos de Protección Social en América Latina y el Caribe

Commissioned by the ILO to take stock of the state of social protection floor protection in Latin America and the Caribbean, this policy paper identifies gaps in coverage as well as recent social protection advances in in the region to secure the four guarantees of the social protection floor, and presents possible recommendations for a future extension of social protection in the region.

 

 

Efforts in the Arab States, including North Africa, will focus on documenting the different experiences of UN agencies across the region and building toolkits to work as one UN to extend social protection floors and to mainstream SPFs through regional UNDG policies and guidelines and into national development plans. 

 

 

 

 

Workplan

 

  • Latest Skype call took place betwen UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, UNDP and ILO colleauges on 31 August 2015.  The following topics were discussion and decisions made:  
    • The protracted nature of refugee crisis is turning temporary humanitarian interventions into longer-term efforts to build resilience in both refugee and host communities.  An "Issues Brief" on SP in the Arab States would not be "business as usual" as in other regions.  Country context can vary widely, with some countries welcoming large numbers of foreign refugees (e.g. Lebanon, Jordan), others with large numbers of IDPs (e.g. Syria).  Meanwhile, some (e.g. Tunisia) have already embarked on first steps toward joint UN work on constructing a national social protection floor.
    • There are different legal/regulatory frameworks for refugees and nationals and their access to social protection; for example Turkey has permitted refugees to work while other countries such as Jordan have not . The high prevalence of poverty and need among refugees presents a formidable challege for governments to absorb refugees and provide social protection provisions on par with those for local populations, where such provisions exist.  This is a sensitive issue in some countries such as Jordan, therefore we need to look at social protection for resilience building and humanitarian work for host communities and refugees.
    • As the "Issues Brief" brings humanitarian efforts into the fold of social protection systems-building, it should explore interventions where clear linkages are sought between humanitarian interventions and the strengthening of national systems. These could include relief efforts that:
      • Build upon existing ID/selection/targeting/payment/etc. processes, avoid the creation of parallel systems, and enjoy the efficiencies gained by tapping into existing SP architectures
      • Contribute to the development and strengthening of national processes and SP infrastructures through innovation in technology and capacity building of national authorities and local adminsitrations
      • Have the potential to be expanded or otherwise progressively transformed into nationally-owned, rights-based social protection schemes
  • Some examples could include:
    • Yemen, where the national Social Welfare Fund has been involved in the targeting process for an emergency grant implemented and funded by UNICEF
    • The Regional Refuge and Resilience Plan (3RP)
    • ...
  • NB: To avoid overlaps/gaps in countries covered by the UNDG Issues Brief series, it was determined to use the common UNDG "Arab States" grouping (a footnote to the Brief TORs can be added in this regard).  Meanwhile, the idea of bringing into the Brief's drafting the World Bank or others who function as UNDG observers or without UNDG designations was discussed and welcomed.  Participation criteria was not envisaged to be rigid, and the ILO-WB Universal Social Protection Initiative was also recalled in support.
  • Next steps:
    • Members will review all draft documents and return with inputs and recommendations for Issues Brief authors/consultants by 10 September 2015.
    • The informal working group will serve as an expert advisory group to the study and each agency will help in data collection, peer review and coordination with their respective focal points for more information and data validation. 
    • UNDP and ILO will follow up through a memo to the UNDG-Arab States focal point sharing the TWG-CN and TWG-ToR to be reviewed and commented on for further submission to the Director’s Meeting in December. 
    • Moving forward the group will explore opportunities for the use and further development of a knowledge sharing platform which already exists on a dedicated UNDG/SPF-I page of the ILO's Social Protection Platform, and the developmeng of a roster of consultants for future referrals.

 

Focal contacts

 

Atif Khurshid
Programme Specialist, Social Protection and Economic DevelopmentUNDP, Amman, atif.khurshid@undp.org

Valérie Schmitt
Chief, Social Policy, Governance and Standards Branch, schmittv@ilo.org

James Canonge
Social Protection Officer, canonge@ilo.org

 

Resources

TORs - UNDG-Arab States Thematic Working Group on Social Protection

The TORs for a UNDG Thematic Working Group on Social Protection in the Arab States region is a product of contributions from UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, UNDP and the ILO.

 

 


Presentation - UNDG-Arab States Thematic Working Group on Social Protection

The concept of a R-UNDG Thematic Working Group on Social Protection in the Arab States region was presented at the 9 March 2016 R-UNDG Arab States meeting of directors in Cairo.

 

 


TORs - UNDG-Arab States Issues Brief on Social Protection

These terms of reference are those used to outline the scope of ambition for the UNDG Social Protection Issues Brief for the Arab States region, including the outline of the document and responsibilities of the author.

 


Concept Note - UNDG-Arab States Thematic Working Group on Social Protection

The Concept Note for a UNDG Thematic Working Group on Social Protection in the Arab States region is a product of contributions from UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, UNDP and the ILO.

 

 


 

 

Efforts at the global level will focus on documenting the different experiences of UN agencies across regions and building global toolkits to work as one UN to extend social protection floors, to mainstream SPFs through UNDG policies and guidelines and to eventually conduct capacity building courses through the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) and other venues.

 

 

 

Workplan

 

  • In March 2014, UNDG Chair and UNDP Executive Secretary Helen Clark and ILO Director-General Guy Ryder addressed a letter to UN Resident Coordinators (UNRCs) calling for a renewal of their efforts to establish social protection floors worldwide.
  • ILO has had discussions with UN System Staff College (UNSSC) UN Coherence Program Manager, Gonzalo Guerra (g.guerra@unssc.org) who was receptive to the idea of offering an ad-hoc training component on SPF at the school.  To enter SPF component(s) into the regular curriculum (longer-term), additional discussions with the Program Unit are needed.
  • UN DOCO (the UNDG Secretariat in New York) has reacted positively to an in-person report of SPF-I activities at the regional level, and will soon communicate an update based on our inputs by way of a letter to all UNRCs/UNCTs.
  • Proposed as a complement to the letter is a blog post on the UNDG's SiloFighters blog: www.silofighters.org

 

Focal contacts

 

Valérie Schmitt
Chief, Social Policy, Governance and Standards Branch, schmittv@ilo.org

James Canonge
Social Protection Officer, canonge@ilo.org

 

Resources

Training package: Delivering SPFs as One UN

This training was delivered in Berlin on 15 April 2016 as part of the United Nations System Staff College's Reflection Series on highlighting priority actions to advance development efforts of the UN system in middle-income countries. The package (.zip) includes materials for interactive exercises, presentations, worksheets, background information and more.

 


Letter on SPF-I from UN DOCO Director Kanni Wignaraja

This letter from the UN Department Operations and Coordination Office Director Kanni Wignaraja recognizes efforts conducted under the SPF-I and calls for additional joint in-country activities (assessments, dialogues, and coordination exercises) and the development of regional working groups and knowledge products (good practice guides and applied tool-kits).

 


Letter from UNDG Chair and ILO Director General to all UN Resident Co-ordinators and UN Country Teams

This letter from the UNDG Chair Helen Clark and ILO Director-General Guy Ryder calls upon UN Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams to i) build or strengthen One UN national social protection floor teams, ii) support national dialogues for designing and implementing nationally-appropriate social protection floors, iii) assist countries in the analysis of their social protection needs, iv) promote floors as instruments to advance inclusive and sustainable development, and v) strengthen their ability to collect the data needed to analyze needs and existing provisions.