The European Union Social Protection Systems Project, co-financed by the European Union, the OECD and Government of Finland, and co-managed by the OECD Development Centre and the Finnish National Institute of Health and Welfare (THL), kicks off today at the OECD headquarters, in Paris. The initiative aims at supporting countries in developing and reforming their social protection systems.
Social protection, a key component of the soon-to-be-adopted global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has emerged as an essential factor in countries’ development plans. It plays a leading role in the post-2015 development agenda by promoting a more sustainable approach to development that upholds the rights of all people to income security and access to a minimum level of social services through more extensive social protection, this in turn contributing to improved human development, enhanced economic participation and inclusive growth.
Developing countries’ spending on social protection has increased substantially in recent years. Yet extreme poverty persists and inequality is increasing. In spite of the rapid expansion of social protection programmes, many countries face challenges in putting in place sustainable systems of social protection that address lifelong risks. Enhancing coordination and policy coherence between different social protection instruments is an essential step in extending coverage and achieving sustainable progress in the fight against poverty and inequality.
The four-year project will work with 10 developing countries - Cambodia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Togo, Vietnam and Zambia - representing different regions and a diverse range of approaches to social protection to support them in establishing social protection systems that maximise impact of their programmes and provide progressively greater levels of coverage.
The initiative will look at reforms to social protection conducted by each country and provide support through technical assessments, the development of analytical tools and capacity-strengthening for policymakers, implementation planners and service providers.
For more information, journalists are invited to contact Alessandra Heinemann (Alessandra.Heinemann@oecd.org; Tel: +33 145 24 76 40), Timo Voipio (Timo.Voipio@thl.fi) or Juergen Hohmann (Juergen.Hohmann@ec.europa.eu).