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Policy Briefs

Policy and Fiscal Space for Universal Social Protection

Task Force:
Social cohesion, economic transformation and open societies

Michael Cichon,
Hajo Lanz


The authors suggest a simple, feasible, pragmatic and affordable global strategy to support the attainment of social protection for all as a central means to combat poverty, inequality, insecurity and ill health.[i] It consists of mainly two elements:


  • Strengthening the implementation of existing social protection standards and notably establishing a new international standard of universal social protection floors or universal social protection to extend the policy space for social protection on the national level.
    Such a new convention on social protection could act as a catalyst for the formation of national will and the consequential allocation of national resources to social protection.
  • pivotal, targeted financial support for the temporary extension of national fiscal space for social protection in the poorest countries through a Global Fund for Social Protection or a similar financing facility. A Global Fund or financing facility could provide supplementary but reliable and earmarked institutional and financial support for a small group of countries which cannot afford to finance their basic social protection systems alone.

[i] This brief for discussion is largely based on a number of recent briefing notes edited by the Global Coalition for Social Protections Floors (GCSPF, http://www.socialprotectionfloorscoalition.org/) and papers, such as Cichon and Lanz (2022).