An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

David E. Bloom Ajay Mahal Larry Rosenberg Jaypee Sevilla Harvard School of Public Health April 21, 2010 ADB Regional Conference “Enhancing Social Protection Strategy in Asia and the Pacific”

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this paper/presentation are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), or its Board of Governors, or the governments they represent. ADB does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this paper and accepts no responsibility for any consequence of their use. Terminology used may not necessarily be consistent with ADB official terms.

An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Structure of talk
• What is Social Protection?
• Rationale for Social Protection • Some initial questions • Instruments for producing Social Protection • People and institutions involved • Social Protection in the DMCs • Key unanswered questions
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Definition of “social protection”
Social protection consists of policies and programs designed to reduce poverty and vulnerability by promoting efficient labor markets, diminishing people's exposure to risks, and enhancing their capacity to protect themselves against hazards and interruption/loss of income.
(www.adb.org/SocialProtection/default.asp)

An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Five components of social protection
• • • • • Labor markets Social insurance Social assistance and welfare Micro- and area-based programs Child protection

An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Evolving views of social protection
Social protection is . . .
Not just
• consumption • “picking up the pieces” • welfare

It’s also
• investment • integral to inclusive growth • an activity that can help to produce both economic growth and well-being.

An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Structure of talk
• What is Social Protection?

• Rationale for Social Protection
• Some initial questions • Instruments for producing Social Protection • People and institutions involved • Social Protection in the DMCs • Key unanswered questions
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Why does social protection matter?
• Our ultimate goal: good lives
• • • • • • • • • • • • Ethical imperative Compliance with domestic and international laws A boost to economic growth Efficient labor markets More productive investments Reduction of inequality Links to financial markets Counter-cyclical nature Gender equity Good politics Trickle-down does not work An affordable (if partial) solution to a huge set of problems
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Why does social protection matter?
• Our ultimate goal: good lives

• Ethical imperative
• • • • • • • • • • • Compliance with domestic and international laws A boost to economic growth Efficient labor markets More productive investments Reduction of inequality Links to financial markets Counter-cyclical nature Gender equity Good politics Trickle-down does not work An affordable (if partial) solution to a huge set of problems
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Why does social protection matter?
• Our ultimate goal: good lives • Ethical imperative

• Compliance with domestic and international laws
• • • • • • • • • • A boost to economic growth Efficient labor markets More productive investments Reduction of inequality Links to financial markets Counter-cyclical nature Gender equity Good politics Trickle-down does not work An affordable (if partial) solution to a huge set of problems
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Why does social protection matter?
• Our ultimate goal: good lives • Ethical imperative • Compliance with domestic and international laws

• A boost to economic growth
• • • • • • • • • Efficient labor markets More productive investments Reduction of inequality Links to financial markets Counter-cyclical nature Gender equity Good politics Trickle-down does not work An affordable (if partial) solution to a huge set of problems
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Why does social protection matter?
• • • • • • • • • • • • Our ultimate goal: good lives Ethical imperative Compliance with domestic and international laws A boost to economic growth More productive investments Reduction of inequality Links to financial markets Counter-cyclical nature Gender equity Good politics Trickle-down does not work An affordable (if partial) solution to a huge set of problems
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

• Efficient labor markets

Why does social protection matter?
• • • • • • • • • • • • Our ultimate goal: good lives Ethical imperative Compliance with domestic and international laws A boost to economic growth Efficient labor markets Reduction of inequality Links to financial markets Counter-cyclical nature Gender equity Good politics Trickle-down does not work An affordable (if partial) solution to a huge set of problems
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

• More productive investments

Why does social protection matter?
• • • • • • • • • • • • Our ultimate goal: good lives Ethical imperative Compliance with domestic and international laws A boost to economic growth Efficient labor markets More productive investments Links to financial markets Counter-cyclical nature Gender equity Good politics Trickle-down does not work An affordable (if partial) solution to a huge set of problems
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

• Reduction of inequality

Why does social protection matter?
• • • • • • • • • • • • Our ultimate goal: good lives Ethical imperative Compliance with domestic and international laws A boost to economic growth Efficient labor markets More productive investments Reduction of inequality Counter-cyclical nature Gender equity Good politics Trickle-down does not work An affordable (if partial) solution to a huge set of problems
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

• Links to financial markets

Why does social protection matter?
• • • • • • • • • • • • Our ultimate goal: good lives Ethical imperative Compliance with domestic and international laws A boost to economic growth Efficient labor markets More productive investments Reduction of inequality Links to financial markets Gender equity Good politics Trickle-down does not work An affordable (if partial) solution to a huge set of problems
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

• Counter-cyclical nature

Why does social protection matter?
• • • • • • • • • Our ultimate goal: good lives Ethical imperative Compliance with domestic and international laws A boost to economic growth Efficient labor markets More productive investments Reduction of inequality Links to financial markets Counter-cyclical nature

• Gender equity
• Good politics • Trickle-down does not work • An affordable (if partial) solution to a huge set of problems
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Why does social protection matter?
• • • • • • • • • • Our ultimate goal: good lives Ethical imperative Compliance with domestic and international laws A boost to economic growth Efficient labor markets More productive investments Reduction of inequality Links to financial markets Counter-cyclical nature Gender equity

• Good politics
• Trickle-down does not work • An affordable (if partial) solution to a huge set of problems
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Why does social protection matter?
• • • • • • • • • • • Our ultimate goal: good lives Ethical imperative Compliance with domestic and international laws A boost to economic growth Efficient labor markets More productive investments Reduction of inequality Links to financial markets Counter-cyclical nature Gender equity Good politics

• Trickle-down does not work
• An affordable (if partial) solution to a huge set of problems
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Why does social protection matter?
• • • • • • • • • • • • Our ultimate goal: good lives Ethical imperative Compliance with domestic and international laws A boost to economic growth Efficient labor markets More productive investments Reduction of inequality Links to financial markets Counter-cyclical nature Gender equity Good politics Trickle-down does not work

• An affordable (if partial) solution to a huge set of problems
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Structure of talk
• What is Social Protection? • Rationale for Social Protection

• Some initial questions
• Instruments for producing Social Protection • People and institutions involved • Social Protection in the DMCs • Key unanswered questions
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Some initial questions (1)
• • • • Level of need for social protection? Will this grow? Level of DMC interest in social protection? Coverage compared with the need?

An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Some initial questions (2)
• What are the implications of ADB’s Strategy 2020 for social protection? • How can ADB help to promote national ownership of social protection plans? • Can national and regional policy dialogue be significant?

An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Some initial questions (3)
• Links between social protection and other areas of concern in the DMCs? • How can financing challenges be addressed?

An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Questions about financing
• Which DMCs have the financial ability to expand social protection programs? • How does the Asia-Pacific region compare to other regions? • How can available funds be used most efficiently and equitably? • How can the least financially able countries implement social protection programs?

An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Structure of talk
• What is Social Protection? • Rationale for Social Protection • Some initial questions

• Instruments for producing Social Protection
• People and institutions involved • Social Protection in the DMCs • Key unanswered questions
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Instruments for producing social protection
• • • • • Pensions Social insurance Social assistance Child protection Labor protection

An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Pensions
• The increasing need • An array of options

An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Social insurance
• What “social insurance” means • The need • Many options for implementation

An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Social assistance
• What this encompasses • The need for targeting • The special role of conditional cash transfers

An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Structure of talk
• • • • What is Social Protection? Rationale for Social Protection Some initial questions Instruments for producing Social Protection

• People and institutions involved
• Social Protection in the DMCs • Key unanswered questions
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

People and institutions involved
• • • • • • Individuals in need of social protection Governments The private sector Non-government organizations International organizations ADB

An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Social Protection Floor Initiative
• Partnership led by ILO and WHO • Goal: accelerate national commitments to a minimum level of social protection • Floor is set according to each country’s circumstances

An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

ADB: social protection & Strategy 2020
• Social protection is explicitly recognized in the ADB’s Strategy 2020, particularly its agenda of inclusive economic growth. • “The region must promote greater access to opportunities by expanding human capacities, especially for the disadvantaged, through investments in education, health, and basic social protections. It must also improve the poor’s access to markets and basic productive assets by putting in place sound policies and institutions. Finally, social safety nets must be strengthened to prevent extreme deprivation.” (p. 8)
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

ADB, Strategy 2020, and social protection
Pensions Strategic agendas Inclusive economic growth Environmentally sustainable growth Regional integration Drivers of change Private sector development & operations Good governance & capacity development Gender equity Knowledge solutions Partnerships Core operational areas Infrastructure Environment, including climate change Regional cooperation & integration Finance sector development Education Social insurance Social assistance X X X X X X X

X X X X X

X X X X X

X X X X X

X X

X X X

X X X X X

An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Social protection in the context of the global economic crisis
“Governments must help prevent millions of the vulnerable from sliding into poverty. Attention to social protection and investments to stimulate internal demand and reduce this vulnerability is imperative during the economic slowdown.” But creating social protection systems takes time, so proactive action is needed. Solutions will vary by sub-region and income level.
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Structure of talk
• • • • What is Social Protection? Rationale for Social Protection Some initial questions Instruments for producing Social Protection • People and institutions involved

• Social Protection in the DMCs
• Key unanswered questions
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Social protection achievements in the DMCs
• Government commitments to social protection • Low coverage of social insurance programs • Universal or means-tested programs for the indigent. • Programs to help with natural disasters, conflict, and economic shocks
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Social protection gaps in the DMCs
• Low spending on social assistance compared with other regions of the world. • Health insurance is clearly an area in which coverage is lacking. • Pensions are generally lacking throughout the DMCs.
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Programs in operation
Social insurance and labor market initiatives
Sickness, unemployment, old age, health, insurance (e.g., public service, formal sector) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X

Social assistance

Emergency transfers

Child protection

EducationPovertyHealth-related Employmentrelated related: transfers (e.g., related transfers transfers (e.g., (universal or maternity (e.g., public school meals, means tested) benefits) works schemes) stipends) X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X

Transfers to cope with shocks, conflict, and natural disasters X

Afghanistan Armenia Azerbaijan Bangladesh Cambodia China Georgia India Indonesia Kazakhstan Kyrgyz Rep. Lao People's D. R. Malaysia Mongolia Pakistan Philippines Sri Lanka Tajikistan Thailand Turkmenistan Uzbekistan Viet Nam

X X X X X X X X X X X

X

X X X X

X

X

Source: ESCAP, ADB, UNDP. Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in an Era of Global Uncertainty: Asia-Pacific Regional Report 2009/10

An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Structure of talk
• • • • What is Social Protection? Rationale for Social Protection Some initial questions Instruments for producing Social Protection • People and institutions involved • Social Protection in the DMCs

• Key unanswered questions
An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Key unanswered questions
1. Best way for ADB to help countries with social protection programs? 2. Social protection and ADB’s business model: Is there a solid investment case for social protection? 3. Public-private partnerships to strengthen social protection? 4. Social protection activities and gender equity? 5. Concrete steps ADB can take to promote regional solutions to address social protection gaps? 6. How to build on accomplishments to date?

An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

Building on accomplishments to date
• ADB: reconceptualization of social protection as
– an activity that promotes inclusive economic growth – an investment, not simply a hand-out

DMCs: assessment of social protection needs and development of a strategy for meeting those needs

An Overview of Social Protection Needs in Asia and the Pacific

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