Module 5 - Social protection floors and public employment programmes: reaching out to the informal and rural economy

a. Introductory Text
This module will focus on highlighting some of the best practices and complementarities that exist in the approaches between employment and social protection , which effectively reduce poverty and inequalities and contribute to sustainable development by promoting stability and predictability of income to prevent human suffering and by restoring dignity through decent work..
Despite a worldwide consensus on the social and economic need for social protection as reflected also explicitly in several ,SDG targets , only 27 per cent of the world population enjoys adequate social protection. In 2012, 184 countries adopted the ILO Social Protection Floors Recommendation No. 202 reiterating the human right to social security and recognizing the urgent need to create nationally defined social protection floors guaranteeing at least essential health care and basic social protection for all. The knowledge and expertise acquired in countries in the South provides a good basis for other countries in the South wishing to establish social protection floors for all as they are often facing similar challenges, dealing with fragmentation, contracting expenditures, extension of coverage to specific groups such as rural populations, domestic workers, migrants and refugees and workers in the informal economy .
Participants will also learn about existing South-South collaboration on innovations in public employment programmes and how public works are able to provide an extension to social protection. These schemes allow unemployed and discouraged active age persons to earn sufficient income and provide basic income security to their households. These programmes have larger impacts on vulnerable communities by combining the multiple social, environmental and economic objectives of employment generation, income support, and asset creation. By combining these multiple objectives, they are able to form part of an equitable and inclusive growth policy and provide dignity through the right to work and help these workers move into formality.
For example , the project “Promoting rural youth employment in Afghanistan through entrepreneurship education and vocational training” is a capacity-development project intended to strengthen the institutional capacity of ILO constituents, social partners, and other stakeholders in Afghanistan to tackle the youth employment challenge through appropriate policies and programmes, reflecting global good practice in countries affected by fragility.
Another example is this Compilation of 25 good practices provides exemplary cases of South-South and Triangular Cooperation in promoting decent work and rural development. These initiatives can be adapted through regional and inter-regional cooperation to address rural development-related challenges ranging from crops technology, solidarity economy, and transforming transport systems for product distribution. All authors were SSTC scholars of the ITC-ILO Rural Development Academy “The Future of Work in Rural Economies”, that took place in Turin, Italy in December 2019.
b. Videos
d. Suggestive Questions
Think about the questions presented below. They were elaborated to encourage participants to express their views, concerns and needs. Write your answers to the questions in the discussion forum located in the bottom of the page.
Question 1: Which statement is correct and why?
a) Large social protection programmes in countries in the South have been key in demonstrating the impact on poverty reduction. Moreover, those countries with a solid social protection floor were less affected by the economic crises. As such, social protection floors can be seen as originating from the South.
b) Social protection floors and public employment programmes can financially support people who are unemployed but only have a small impact on socio-economic development of a country.
c) Countries spend between 2 and 12 % on social protection globally.
d) There are no mechanisms to provide some form of unemployment insurance to informal workers.
Question 2a: Who should be covered by social protection?
a) Urban and rural workers in the formal economy who contribute to social insurance.
b) All workers (formal and informal economy) who can afford to contribute to social insurance or micro-insurance/mutual insurance.
c) All residents, all children.
Question 2b: And public employment programmes?
a) Entire population.
b) The working age population and their dependents.
c) The unemployed and underemployed.
d) The poor.
Question 3: Why are Public Employment Programmes so popular in countries in the South?
(more than one possible correct answer)
a) Because they are able to reach rural workers.
b) Because they can also contribute to addressing gaps in infrastructure and services.
c) Because they are cheap to implement.
d) Because they often have good political support.
e) They are simple to design and implement.

Discussion Forum: ILO Academy on SSTC - Module 5

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