Social Protection and Health

Welcome at the section Social Protection and Health of the International Centre for Sustainable Development

Social protection is increasingly considered as a relevant instrument for inducing inclusive growth and has emerged as a prominent policy area on the national and international policy agendas, addressing key impediments to social and economic development. Over the past two decades many governments of low and middle income countries have started to introduce social protection measures or to extend the coverage and improve the functioning of public social protection systems. Good health is another important component of inclusive growth.  Social protection and health are strongly interlinked. By facilitating access to health systems  social protection contributes to health development.



Effectiveness of social protection

Evaluating the effectiveness of social protection systems is one of the section’s research focus.

  • International research project
    "Social and Health Policies for Inclusive Growth (SHPIG)"

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Previous research enquired into the relationship between health financing mechanisms and economic growth. It analyzes the comparative effects of alternative health financing mechanisms on economic growth within a two-sector model with human capital.

Bender, Katja (2011) Health Financing Mechanisms, Access to Health and Economic Growth, IEE Working Paper 192. For online access click here.



Political economy of social protection reforms

Within this research focus, political economy aspects of social protection reforms are explored. It comprises the study of policy diffusion, policy learning and transgovernmental policy networks, and the determinants of social protection reforms.

Policy diffusion, policy learning and transgovernmental policy networks


Determinants of social protection reforms 

Social protection reforms are a ‘global phenomenon’ and observed in many African, Asian and Latin American countries. However, not surprisingly, the characteristics of reform processes differ across countries both in terms of scope and speed of institutional change. Social protection reforms are often accompanied by strong political controversies and varying degrees of public support among the population.




Dialogue on social protection and development

In order to foster exchange both among researchers and between the research community and practitioners, this section is engaged in exchange activities of various kinds with a global reach. In addition to having a strong international dimension, intensifying interdisciplinary debate is a further goal.

The section acts as convenor of the EADI Working Group “Social Protection” together with Dr. Markus Loewe (Senior Economist at the German Development Institute). The Working Group connects social protection specialists with diverse country-specific (European and non-European) and professional backgrounds. It serves to exchange information and facilitate discussions about ongoing research activities. Thereby, it contributes to a global dialogue on social protection.

The convenors cordially invite researchers to join the Working Group.
Please contact Christian Böber for further information and for being added to the mailing list.