There is no common definition and a lack of clarity among the available literature of what the selected organisations consider these to be. Some organisations advocate a child-sensitive approach to social protection (for example UNICEF and Save the Children), while others take a right-based perspective (such as SIDA and IDS). Some of the research think tanks contacted indicated that they do not have a common institutional position on social protection issues.
Drawing from the literature that is available, a sample of the definitions of social protection systems identified includes:
- World Bank: The World Bank have a broad perspective on social protection that aims to achieve poverty alleviation, risk reduction, resilience and growth promotion.
- Asian Development Bank: Social protection is one of three pillars in the Asian Development Bank’s poverty reduction strategy and is comprised of five components: labour markets; social insurance; social assistance; micro and area-based schemes to protect communities; and child protection.
- UNICEF: UNICEF advocates a child-sensitive, integrated approach to social protection systems which focuses on four key components: social transfers; programmes to ensure economic and social access to services; social support and care services; and legislation to prevent discrimination in children and families’ access to employment, services and livelihoods.
- GIZ: GIZ’s definition of social protection is broad and incorporates health, poverty and broader issues of social and economic development. Social protection systems should be tailored to specific needs and country contexts.
Civil society and think-tank definitions:
- Oxfam International: Oxfam have a rights-based approach to social protection and contend that social protection instruments should help people manage risks, enable them to invest, build skills, and address long term deprivation.
- Institute of Development Studies (IDS): IDS takes a broad perspective on social protection. It advocates for universal provisions and has an interest in the social justice and transformative dimensions of social protection.