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The Social Protection Floor Initiative A decision of the UN System Chief Executives Board (CEB) in response to the global financial and economic crisis.

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Presentation on theme: "The Social Protection Floor Initiative A decision of the UN System Chief Executives Board (CEB) in response to the global financial and economic crisis."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Social Protection Floor Initiative A decision of the UN System Chief Executives Board (CEB) in response to the global financial and economic crisis Isabel Ortiz, Gaspar Fajth and Jennifer Yablonski, UNICEF Social Development Advisors Network meeting New York, 8 January 2010

2 Session Objectives Rationale What is the Social Protection Floor Initiative? III.Feasibility IV.Potential Impacts V. Next steps - Discussion

3 I. Rationale: social and economic necessity Social Justice Arguments Unacceptable levels of poverty and inequality Half of the world lives below the $2-a-day poverty line The poorest 50% of the worlds adult population receives 1% of global wealth (UN WIDER, 2006) Social protection is a human right: Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security => But 80% of global population remains without access Article 25 including the right to health and well being including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services …special care and assistance in case of motherhood and childhood… Article 26 - universal right to education

4 But Also Strong Economic Arguments Raising productivity Inequality is economically inefficient / dysfunctional World problem of overproduction and global excess capacity in the context of weak effective demand Consumption concentrated in top income deciles Raising the incomes of the poor increases domestic demand and, in turn, encourages growth by expanding domestic markets A Social Protection Floor can be an effective instrument to: Boost economic growth by raising domestic demand / internal markets Enhance human capital and productive employment - a better educated, healthy and well nourished workforce.

5 … and Political Arguments A Global Social Floor can be effective to prevent conflict and create politically stable societies Poverty and gross inequities tend to generate intense social tensions and violent conflict Other crisis: riots, violent xenophobia The huge disparities in income inequality encourage uncontrolled migration

6 Fiscal Stimulus Plans Q Q4 2009, %GDP As an average, 25% of stimulus plans spent on social support (UNDP, 2009) Mostly in high and middle income economies - what happens with lower income countries?

7 1929 Crisis led to the New Deal Bank reforms Social Security Act (1935) Universal old-age pensions Unemployment insurance Social assistance for poor families Employment programs (public works), collective bargaining, minimum wages Farm/rural programs : The Crisis as an Opportunity: Scaling up Social Protection Social protection counter-cyclical Increasing incomes Raising domestic demand/expanding internal markets Social Protection reduces poverty FASTER => MDGs

8 II.A UN System Emergency response to the crisis: The Social Protection Floor (SPF) Initiative l On April 2009, the UN Chief Executives Board (CEB) has agreed on nine joint initiatives to confront the crisis, accelerate recovery and pave the way for a fairer and more sustainable globalization: 1.Additional financing for the most vulnerable 2.Food Security 3.Trade 4.A Green Economy Initiative 5.A Global Jobs Pact 6.A Social Protection Floor 7.Humanitarian, Security and Social Stability 8.Technology and Innovation 9.Monitoring and Analysis

9 II.What is the SPF initiative?.. As agreed in the concept note and the CEB issues paper Promotes a holistic and coherent vision of national social protection systems as a key component of national development strategies and seeks to Support countries in identifying and closing crucial protection gaps through coherent and efficient measures that maximize the effects of scarce resources on the reduction of poverty and insecurity, through Concerted actions of UN agencies, national governments and, stakeholders as well donor agencies in order to Alleviate the negative social impact of the crisis and increase the resilience of societies against the impact of future crises through t he implementation of automatic social and economic stabilisers.

10 II.What is the SPF initiative? The SPF Initiative aims at joint action to promote access to essential services and social transfers for the poor and vulnerable. It includes: 1. A basic set of essential social transfers, in cash and in kind, to provide a minimum income and livelihood security for poor and vulnerable populations and to facilitate access to essential services, such as health care 2. Geographical and financial access to essential services, such as health, water and sanitation, education, and other social services

11 II.What is the SPF initiative? …a unique matrix of supply and demand Health servicesWater and sanitation Housing EducationFoodOther social services as defined by national priorities (including life and asset saving information… Children People in active age groups with insufficient income from work Older persons and people with disabilities (e.g.pensions) Means to ensure availability of: Rights and transfers to guarantee access for:

12 II.SPF initiative: Who participates? The Initiative will be owned by national stakeholders, including governments (ministries of labour, health, finance, agriculture …), social partners and national NGOs, etc. with support of … UN agencies such as ILO, WHO, FAO, IMF, OHCHR, UN Regional Commissions, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNDESA, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNHABITAT, UNHCR, UNODC, UNRWA, WFP, WMO, other international organizations such as World Bank and Regional Development Banks, and bilateral donors, and International NGOs

13 III.SPF Initiative Feasibility: Affordability A Simulation exercise by ILO - Assumptions: Basic old age and invalidity pensions: – 30% of per capita GDP capped at US$ 1 PPP per day Child benefits: – 15% of per capita GDP capped at US$ 0.50 PPP, for a max. of two children in age bracket 0-14 Essential health care: – based on a health system staffing ratio of 300 medical professionals per 100,000 population, overhead 67% of staff cost … Basic social assistance for the unemployed: – 100 day guaranteed employment paid at 30% of per capita daily GDP to 10% of the population Administration cost: 15% of cash benefit expenditure

14 III.SPF Initiative Feasibility: Affordability

15 Cost of Old-Age Universal Pensions ($1 day) in 100 countries Source: UN DESA, 2007: World Economic and Social Survey 2007, United Nations

16 III.SPF Initiative Feasibility: Fiscal Space was growing Sub-Saharan African countries increased on average domestic revenue from 15% to 19% of GDP between 1997 and 2006 …and after Monterrey domestic resources increased (source OECD and ECA)…

17 Counter-cyclical spending needed to provide social support and ensure a recovery with a human face Projected Deterioration in Fiscal Balance, Source: Prospects for the Global Economy database (June 2009), World Bank.

18 III. SPF Initiative Feasibility: Cash Transfers Schemes in Developing Countries - Covering 200 Million People TYPE OF TRANSFERSCOUNTRIES Unconditional Household Income Support Chile, China, Mozambique, Rwanda, Zambia Social PensionsArgentina, Bolivia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bostwana, Chile, Costa Rica, India, Lesotho, Mauritius, Moldova, Namibia, Nepal, Samoa, South Africa, Tajikistan, Uruguay, Vietnam Child/Family BenefitsMozambique, South Africa, Mongolia, Senegal Conditional Cash for WorkArgentina, Ethiopía, India, South Korea, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa Cash for Human Development Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, México, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Phillipines, Tanzania

19 III.SPF Initiative Feasibility: Preliminary results of ILO Meta Study on transfers in Developing Countries Number of countries in study: in Africa, 9 in Asia, 11 in Latin America Number of studies: 80 studies during 1999 and 2008 Number of programmes: 63 Estimated number of total beneficiaries (primary and secondary, at the end of 2008): between 150 and 200 million people Expenditure starts at less than 0.5% of GDP…

20 III.SPF-I Feasibility: Emerging comprehensive SPF Uruguay (El plan de Equidad) Chile (La red de proteccion social) Brazil China

21 IV.SPF-I: Potential Impacts A basic package of modest pensions and child benefits can reduce the poverty head count by 40 per cent in poor developing countries at a cost of 3-4 per cent of GDP. In Latin America the cost of a modest package of conditional child cash transfers, universal pensions and basic health care can be kept under 5% of GDP; the poverty headcount effects can reach a reduction of more than 50%

22 South Africa Social Transfers Effective to Reduce Poverty and Destitution – Cost 3% GDP South Africa Social Transfers Effective to Reduce Poverty and Destitution – Cost 3% GDP Source: Sampson, M. 2006, EFPRI South Africa => Social Transfers can make the difference between achieving MDG1 of halving poverty by 2015 or not

23 IV. SPF initiative: Simulated Impacts of basic package of pensions & child benefits - Results of ILO Meta study CriteriaNumber of studies that found Effect positive Effect small/neut. Effect negative Poverty/Vulnerability Poverty Inequality Health/nutrition251- Education Enrolment Quality Labour Market Participation953 Child labour123- Prod. Investments/acts405- Social Status/bonds2312 Gender134-

24 IV.Child-sensitive social protection impacts on achieving other MDGs also.. Health Water and sanitation Education Social welfare Nutrition Child protection Social Policy Social Protection Source: UNICEF

25 IV.Potential impacts on achieving other MDGs also.. For example: Increases in use of preventative health measures, e.g. routine child check-ups, pre-post natal care – Mexico, Peru, Honduras, Nicaragua, Columbia In review of 10 conditional and unconditional transfer programmes, 7 out of 10 programmes show positive impacts on stunting In families receiving South African pension, children have 5cm greater growth on average (Yablonski & ODonnell 2009)

26 IV.Potential impacts on achieving other MDGs also.. including protection during crisis Food security in Mchinji, Malawi – projected food stores (Miller et al. 2008)

27 V.Next Steps - Implementation of the SPF Initiative No best solutions or one-size-fits-all formulas Each country has different social needs, development objectives and fiscal capacity to achieve them, and will choose a different set of policies We can learn from countries of the South who have already successfully taken measures to introduce elements of national social protection floors

28 V.Next Steps National level: setting up of national SPF task forces composed by representatives of governments, social partners and other stakeholders, and supported by UN SPF country teams, supported - if requested - by the UN country reps: to raise awareness ; to prepare diagnostics and assessments; to propose a country specific approach to the social floor; to identify alternatives and make concrete proposals and to monitor and evaluate the results Integration into national, regional and global planning process is fundamental, SPF country activities will not build parallel structures. It should seek policy coherence with United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), and the WB Rapid Social Policy Response.

29 To Conclude The time to make a difference is now… If the crisis can leave behind a broad-based consensus that people in the global economy and the global society have a right to a basic level of social protection and that this is feasible, the crisis has not been wasted. Urgent need for a recovery with a human face

30 Discussion Does the SPF provide a new and useful framework for an integrated approach to realising social and economic rights? What opportunities do you see for concretely moving the initiative forward?

31 Thank you

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