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Development Account Projects

Time for equality: strengthening the institutional framework of social policies

Background:

Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as other developing regions in Western Asia and in Asia and the Pacific, is facing persistent problems with respect to poverty, income inequality and massive social exclusion. In particular, specific groups of the population are not making sufficient progress to meet the Millennium Development Goal 1 targets as well as other internationally agreed development goals.
Although there has been extensive research regarding the economic, social and environmental determinants of poverty and inequality, crucial institutional and political dimensions have received less attention. Thus, providing a forum to analyse valuable experiences in the implementation of long-standing and effective social policies is urgently needed in order to increase visibility and awareness of the importance of political legitimacy to ensure the continuity and efficiency of social policy. More specifically, a critical aspect is the comparative assessment of different institutional frameworks for social policy implementation, monitoring and evaluation, since such an assessment influences the design, effectiveness and, to a large extent, the fiscal sustainability of social policies and programmes.
Facing these challenges successfully requires rethinking the design and management of social protection policies and programmes in the framework of fiscal and social covenants. It includes both technical and political dimensions when it comes to strengthening the “solidarity” — redistributive or non-contributory — pillar of social protection systems and promoting new fiscal arrangements in order to put together social expenditure, income redistribution and a rights-based approach in the provision of services.

Objective:

To promote social protection policies and institutional arrangements in countries of the Latin America and Caribbean, the Western Asia and the Asia-Pacific regions, aimed at reducing poverty, inequality and social exclusion in accordance with the first Millennium Development Goal.

Expected accomplishments:

  • Strengthened capacity of governments to institutionalize and sustain effective and long-term social policies as part of rights-based inclusive social protection systems

  • Enhanced knowledge and cooperation on monitoring and evaluation of social policy/social protection systems reforms, through the exchange of experiences and good practices among countries of the Latin American and Caribbean region, as well as selected countries in the Western Asia and the Asia-Pacific regions

Implementation status:

In progress.