Nepal is facing considerable challenges in reaching the target of achieving full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people. Due to a weakened Nepali economy a large number of its people are still trapped in poverty and social protection benefits and services remain a privilege.
Based on International Labour Conference (ILC) recommendations with regard to extending social security and social protection coverage the ILO Nepal Office in collaboration with Government, Workers’ and Employers’ Organizations has been promoting social protection floor in Nepal. Nepal has already incorporated certain elements of a social protection floor in social welfare programmes, albeit in a fragmented manner. A key challenge is to organize these programmes as part of a coherent social protection strategy. It is recognized that Nepal needs to put in place a solid floor by reorganizing or upscaling its policies and programmes and then attempting to take the next step of developing the vertical dimensions of social protection.
Situation analysis has determined that a two-dimensional strategy will be adopted consisting of a horizontal and a vertical dimension for the extension of social security in Nepal. ILO supports on the vertical dimension is primarily on improving relevant policies and legislation to facilitate the extension of improved and coherent social protection services. Development of a comprehensive social security act has been a priority for ILO’s Technical Assistance. The draft Bill is now with Parliament for approval.
For the extension along the horizontal dimension, the national Framework of Social Protection Floor drafted by the National Planning Commission (NPC) has been prioritized, and has been costed in consultation with the NPC. The other major focus for ILO's support is towards strengthening the capacity of Social Security Fund (SSF) through building of human resources in the social protection sector. In order to advise SSF on developing social security policy, mainly, for designing robust social security schemes and their procedural mechanism, ILO has hired the service of an international Social Security Expert who has been providing backstopping support on (i) Institution Development; (ii) Human Resource Development (ii) Procedural Mechanism and (iii) System Development. In addition -A Training of Trainers was organized in collaboration with ILO/ITC Turin with an objective to develop a cadre of social security experts. Officials of different Government Agencies, social partners and civil society organizations responsible to implement and monitor social protection programmes were the direct beneficiaries. A study visit to Bangkok was also organized for 12 representatives from different stakeholders. Actuarial valuations of five new proposed schemes under SSF and one under Employees’ Provident Fund are ongoing.