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Saturday, 5th of March 2011 Print

 Thanks to PAHO’s Equity Homepage (see external links) for the item on “Successful social protection floor experiences.” When the economy cuts up rough, safety nets are needed to catch the most vulnerable members of society, especially the children who have never voted or read an economics textbook.

 Would it be correct to say that a country’s ability to create social safety nets is in inverse proportion to the proportion of its population who need such nets?

            “…..This book presents 18 case studies on social protection floor policies from 15 countries of the global South."
Cross posted, with thanks, from the Equity website, Panamerican Health Organization, http://new.paho.org/equity/

ILO/UNDP – February 2011

Available online PDF [420p.] at: http://bit.ly/gxPxbf


Access to health services, education, food, water, housing, sanitation and information as well as enjoyment of a basic level of income security are human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Social protection is an important factor in enabling people to exercise these rights. The social protection floor approach combines all these social services and income transfer programmes in a coherent and consistent way, preventing people from falling into poverty and empowering those who are poor to escape the poverty trap and find decent jobs. In the absence of social protection, people are subjected to increased risks of sinking below the poverty line or remaining caught in poverty.


“……About 80 per cent of the global population lives in social insecurity, unable to enjoy a set of social guarantees that enable them to deal with life’s risks. Approximately 1.4 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day according to recent World Bank estimations. Most of them are women and children, work in the informal economy, and/or belong to socially unprotected groups such as people living with disabilities or HIV/AIDS or migrant workers.


A national social protection floor is a powerful instrument for addressing this permanent human crisis.

The social protection floor (SPF) approach promotes access to essential social transfers and services in the areas of health, water and sanitation, education, food, housing, and life- and asset-saving information. It is an approach that emphasizes the need to implement comprehensive, coherent and coordinated social protection policies to guarantee services and social transfers throughout the life cycle, paying particular attention to vulnerable groups. The challenge is how to cover the entire population effectively, especially those who are at risk or who are already in a situation of deprivation, and in a sustainable manner.


Many developing countries have already successfully taken measures to build their nationally defined social protection floors or to introduce elements thereof. The results of programmes in these countries show us that the impact of the social protection floor on poverty, vulnerability and inequality can be dramatic. The knowledge, expertise and experience that these countries have gained in their own efforts at establishing a social protection floor represent a valuable source for other countries interested in planning, expanding, extending or reorienting their social protection systems….”






1 Extension of the Universal Family Allowance: The Universal Child Allowance – Argent ina

2 The Dignity Pension (Renta Dignidad): A Universal Old-age Pension Scheme – Bol ivia (Plur inat ional State of )

3 Broadening Social Protection and Integrating Social Policies – Brazil

4 The Rural Social Insurance Programme – Brazil

5 Building a Social Protection Floor – Burkina Faso

6 The National Social Protection Strategy for the Poor and Vulnerable: Process of Development – Cambodia

7 The Red Protege, the Social Protection System, 2006-2010 – Chile

8 Developing a Basic Rural Medical Security System – China

9 The Subsidized Health-care Scheme in the Social Protection System – Colombia

10 Towards a Universal Pension Protection Scheme – Ecuador

11 Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana – India

12 The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act – India

13 A Social Protection Floor – Mexico

14 Setting Up a Social Protection Floor – Mozambique

15 Social Protection: An Ongoing Process – Rwanda

16 Child Suppor t Grants – South Af r ica

17 The Universal Coverage Scheme – Thai land

18 The 500 Baht Universal Pension Scheme – Thai land


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