Study: Affordability of social protection in developing countries: Burundi, Indonesia and Peru

Mali: 'Pension? Never heard of it' 

This study comes in the context of increasing focus on social protection by international organisations and national governments in developing countries, following the so-called 3-F crisis (financial, food, and fuel), which increased poverty levels and reduced government revenues. Consequently, pressure has grown to find more efficient and effective social protection mechanisms to protect the most vulnerable members of society against economic downturns and various types of chocks.

The objective of this study is to provide rigorous evidence on the cost of social protection in various economic contexts. This information will be used by the actors involved in two-year Campaign "Social Protection for all" (NGOs, trade unions and mutual health insurances).

The Belgian NGOs in particular, would like to strengthen their advocacy and sensitization efforts by producing a new study on the affordability of a basic social protection package (social protection floor) in three different developing contexts (in terms of level of income, macro-economic and demographical dynamics).

In order to do this, we have chosen three countries: Burundi, Indonesia and Peru, covering all three types of economic contexts.

The review uses a similar methodology and comparable assumptions in all three countries, in order to allow for easy cross-country comparison.

Three macro-economic scenarios have been developed for each country: a base scenario describing the most likely growth trajectory based on available projects, an optimistic scenario describing a higher growth path, and a pessimistic scenario, describing a low-growth path.

Three social protection scale up scenarios have been developed for each country, describing the level of coverage and protection that could be afforded under each of the growth scenarios. The assumption is that higher growth would allow for more ambitious social protection interventions.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has developed a social protection floor concept, which provides a standardised platform for addressing these issues in developing countries. The present study adopts this conceptual framework as a starting point for our analysis and uses the tools developed by ILO for its implementation.



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