Social Justice in Global Development

Side Event on Financing Social Protection Floors, at 55th Session of the Commission on Social Development

United Nations, New York, 3 February 2017

The Financing for Development Office of UN-DESA and the International Labour Organization organized a lunch time side event on Financing Social Protection Floors on 3 February 2017 during the 55th Session of the Commission on Social Development. The event was aimed at updating Member States and other stakeholders on the outcomes of an expert group meeting, organized by DESA/FFDO and the ILO in November 2016, held under the auspices of the Interagency Task Force on Financing for Development (IATF).

Synthesis paper prepared for IATF by Barry Herman, SocDevJustice, see (or download) here >>>

Statement to the side event by Barry Herman, SocDevJustice, see (or download) here >>

Report of the meeting by the UN Secretariat see here  >>>

Back to Homepage here  >>> 


Expert group meeting on financing social protection floors

by the Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development

On 30 November at the United Nations in New York the Financing for Development (FfD) Office and the ILO organized an expert group meeting to explore coherent funding modalities for the social protection floor component of the social compact. It was one of five expert group meetings that the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) on Financing for Development hosted as part of its responsibility to monitor and report on the implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on FfD.  The Task Force members contributed to the discussion and received expert input from a number of invited academics, experts and other external stakeholders, including the following from the SocDevJustice Initiative: Gemma Adaba, Anis Chowdhury, Michael Cichon, Eva Hanfstaengl, Barry Herman, Katja Hudjo and Isabel Ortiz. The aim was to discuss country experiences in financing social protection floors in order to explore some lessons learned and raise new or innovative ideas for sustainable financing of universal social protection systems, including floors. 

See (or download) discussion paper by Gemma Adaba, SocDevJustice  here >>>

See (or download) presentation by Isabel Ortiz, ILO Director Social Protection  here  >>>

See (or download) presentation by Anis Chowdhury, SocDevJustice  here >>>

See report of the meeting by the UN Secretariat (link to report) here  >>>

See Addis Abeba Action Agenda  here >>>

Back to Homepage here  >>>


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?

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.

The most important purpose of the initiative 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