Social Justice in Global Development

Expert group meeting on financing social protection floors of the
Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda announced a new social compact. This compact contains two components: a commitment to deliver social protection systems and measures for all, including floors; and a package of essential public services. While social protection generally refers to cash transfers and social insurance, such as adequate pensions for older persons, essential public services include the provision of basic social services, such as health and education. These two components require dedicated funding, and funding for each should not compromise funding for the other.

Social protection includes adequate transfers in cash or in-kind for all contingencies occurring across the life cycle, such as cash transfers for children; benefits/support in case of maternity, disability, work injury or for those without jobs; and pensions for all older persons. Note that emergency relief is not social protection. World governments, employers and unions approved ILO Recommendation on Social Protection Floors No. 202 (2012), and UN country teams are working to improve social protection systems. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development contains Sustainable Development Goal 1.3 which calls for implementing nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieving substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable. Additionally, the World Bank and ILO launched the Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection in September 2016.

In cooperation with various Task Force members, UNDESA has already organized three IATF meetings on other topics mandated by the Addis Agenda. Those meetings have not had an explicit social focus or dimension, which the present proposal seeks to add. Moreover, in their decision on the follow-up process of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Member States have decided that progress on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 1), which includes a target on social protection floors, should be subject to in-depth review in 2017.

See draft agenda here >>>

See Concept note here >>>

See draft discussion paper >>>

Objectives of expert group meeting

The Financing for Development Office and the ILO are thus organizing an expert group meeting to explore coherent funding modalities for the social protection floor component of the social compact. The Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development will serve as the setting for these discussions. This will allow all Task Force members to contribute, and receive expert input from a number of invited academics, experts and other external stakeholders.

This expert group meeting, under the auspices of the Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development, thus has the following aims: to discuss country experiences with financing of social protection floors to explore some lessons learned; to raise new or innovative ideas for sustainable financing of universal social protection systems, including floors (SDG 1.3) and advance thinking on how to treat social protection floors in the thematic chapter of the 2017 IATF report to the Financing for Development Follow-up Forum, given the  in-depth review requested on SDG 1; The meeting also will discuss how to support the debate in the May 2017 ECOSOC Forum on FfD Follow-up and in the July 2017 High-Level Political Forum and discuss the scope of possible future work under the auspices of the Task Force on financing social protection floors.


Join the Campaign on the Social Protection Floor (SPF) 

Knowing that more than 1.4 billion people still struggle to live on less than $1.25 a day (World Bank), it is obvious that much more must be done to eradicate the scourge of extreme poverty. The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) coordinate the Social Protection Floor Initiative (SPF-I) as a joint UN effort to build a global coalition committed to supporting countries in building national social protection floors for their citizens.

A Social Protection Floor (SPF) is the first level of a comprehensive national social protection system that helps to realize human rights for all through guaranteeing:

1. Universal access to essential services (such as health, education, housing, water and sanitation and other services as nationally defined);

2. Social Transfers in cash or kind to guarantee income security, food security, adequate nutrition and access to essential services.

How can you be involved?

1.  By signing on (as individual) to the Petition here »»»

2.  By forming a network to get as many signatures as possible to promote the initiative with your own government. You can sign as an individual or as an organization.

See below two Youtube films on the Civil Society Forum on the Social Protection Floor at the United Nations at the occasion of the Commission for Social Development in February 2012:

Countries will develop nationally defined strategies for the progressive realization and sustainability of their floor as well as higher levels of social protection in line with their needs, preferences and financial capacities. Building on existing social protection mechanisms these strategies may include a mix of contributory and non-contributory, targeted and universal, public and private instruments depending on the social economic and political context.

In summary, the SPF is:
• Universal- It includes everyone.
• Rights- based – (enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
• Nationally owned and designed.
• The first step in an ongoing process – not a ceiling of benefits.
• Affordable by all countries.

How can you be involved?

1.  By signing on (as individual) to the Petition here »»»

2.  By forming a network to get as many signatures as possible to promote the initiative with your own government. You can sign as an individual or as an organization.

This signature campaign can be used as a tool for lobbying at national and global levels. The most important purpose of the campaign is to convince national government that the Social Protection Floor is needed and wanted by its citizens and must be included in national development policies. We see this initiative as a wonderful opportunity to work together to roll back poverty, to put social protection at the heart of the international development agenda and to strengthen the chance for every person to live with dignity.

For further information see and