Since the first conference on Financing Social Protection in low income countries (LICs) organized by ODI in May 2011, social protection has gained even greater prominence in the developing world. The Social Protection Floor has put a spotlight on securing adequate financing for social protection around the world; the adoption of new World Bank and UNICEF social protection strategies have proposed an agenda for strengthening national social protection systems and their ownership; the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Social Protection Index has been finalized and put into practice in various countries on the Asian continent; the G-20 policy process with active UNDP involvement provided a platform to share advances in the area of consolidating social protection systems; and greater awareness of results in donor aid made adequate measurement of cost for delivering social protection in recipient countries an urgent requirement. Last but not least, several LICs have started a national political process of revamping their social protection systems, considerably scaling up the on-going initiatives, and making progress in donor coordination.
The first international conference organized by ODI offered an opportunity to share knowledge, ideas and experiences from both country-level and global (regional) stocktaking and costing of social protection options. Given the significant on-going activity around social protection financing, it was timely to meet again to provide updates on progress and coordinate future programming and research. In particular, there was a need to identify options to secure funding for data collection and costing work, to avoid duplication, and to move forward on shared information platforms.
The primary outcome of the one-day meeting was to prepare a joint project proposal for donor funding that will address the most critical gaps. These include areas wider than pure financing: using a consistent definition of social protection across; coordinating in the collection of programme information, at a country and global level; and sharing other knowledge e.g. guidance notes in different organisations and results from impact evaluations.