Working papers


  1. Building an adequate U.S. labor and social protection system for the 21st century

    05 June 2018

    Over the last several decades the economic prospects facing U.S. workers and households have changed in substantial ways. For most, it has been a change for the worse. This paper is intended to bring analytical clarity and focus to the issues that currently confront workers, households and policy makers in the spheres of employment and social protection.

  2. Is biometric technology in social protection programmes illegal or arbitrary? An analysis of privacy and data protection

    05 June 2018

    Social protection programmes require processing significant data amounts, including often-sensitive information such as household assets, health status and physical or intellectual disabilities. Now more than ever, it is critical to address issues of privacy and data security in social protection programme design, implementation and evaluation.


  1. Universal Social Protection Floors: Costing Estimates and Affordability in 57 Lower Income Countries

    13 December 2017

    This paper presents the results of costing universal social protection floors in 34 lower middle-income, and 23 low-income countries


  1. Social protection systems in Latin America: An assessment

    08 December 2016

    This paper assesses the present state of social protection systems in Latin America and their future challenges.

  2. Health workforce: A global supply chain approach. New data on the employment effects of health economies in 185 countries.

    08 December 2016

    This paper provides evidence that investments in health protection not only impact on the achievement of health objectives, but also create an important source of employment across numerous economic sectors.

  3. Protecting people and the environment. Lessons learnt from Brazil's Bolsa Verde, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, South Africa and 56 other experiences

    05 May 2016

    This working paper provides an overview of 56 Payments for Environmental Services (PES) experiences in 19 countries from the global south that combine social protection and environmental objectives within one programme.


  1. Realising the Right to Social Security and the Right to Food. The contribution of national social protection floors towards food security and the realisation of the right to adequate food for all

    30 November 2015

    This paper identifies conceptual synergies and dissonances between food security and income security.

  2. National experiences in building social protection floors. India’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme

    30 November 2015

    This study reviews the legislation and implementation of the Indian Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in the light of the provisions of Recommendation No. 202.

  3. The decade of adjustment. A review of austerity trends 2010-2020 in 187 countries

    30 November 2015

    This paper: (i) examines the latest IMF government spending projections for 187 countries between 2005 and 2020; (ii) reviews 616 IMF country reports in 183 countries to identify the main adjustment measures considered by governments in both high-income and developing countries; (iii) applies the United Nations Global Policy Model to simulate the impact of expenditure consolidation on growth and employment; (iv) discusses the threats of austerity to welfare and social progress; and (v) calls for urgent action by governments to adopt alternative and equitable policies for socio-economic recovery.

  4. Long-term care (LTC) protection for older persons: A review of coverage deficits in 46 countries

    24 September 2015

    Due to the global demographic ageing, all countries are challenged by growing longterm care (LTC) needs for older persons. However, these needs are largely ignored and range very low on the policy agendas of most countries. This paper has developed global estimates on LTC protection of persons aged 65 and over.

  5. Income Inequalities in Perspective

    08 May 2015

    This document analysis income and wealth inequalities in a time perspective.

  6. Global evidence on inequities in rural health protection. New data on rural deficits in health coverage for 174 countries

    05 May 2015

    This paper presents global estimates on rural/urban disparities in access to health-care services.

  7. Fiscal space for social protection. Options to expand social investments in 187 countries

    02 May 2015

    This paper presents eight financing alternatives, based on policy positions by the United Nations and international financial institutions, and shows that fiscal space for social protection exists even in the poorest countries.


  1. Can productivity in SMEs be increased by investing in workers' health?

    11 August 2014

    This study investigates the major causes of inadequate or non-existent social protection coverage of workers in SMEs, in both the formal and informal economy, and identifies barriers regarding coverage and access to social protection in health, employment injury, paid sick leave and other social protection benefits.

  2. Reversing pension privatization. The experience of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Hungary

    20 February 2014

    A systematic analysis of the reforms of private pensions systems in four countries due to initial failures in design and performance after its implementation.


  1. Multinational enterprises' engagement in extending social security: Examples of practices and challenges

    20 December 2013

    The present document aims at further analyzing private sector initiatives related to social protection of workers.

  2. Towards a Mozambican Social Protection Floor. Consolidating a comprehensive social protection system in Mozambique. Analysis of policy alternatives and costs

    02 December 2013

    This working paper documents the key elements of the ongoing social protection policy reform in Mozambique and explores the technical and financial arguments underlying the Government’s policy options for the implementation of a national social protection floor in Mozambique.

  3. Costing essential health-care packages based on the framework of national floors of social protection. An innovative ILO approach for countries with limited availability of reliable data

    01 November 2013

    Essential health care is frequently provided in countries where resources are scarce and statistical data limited, particularly regarding utilization rates and related health-care costs. Costing the extension of essential health care to achieve universal coverage is thus hindered, which might be considered as an obstacle to progress in this field. This report provides concepts and recommendations for a macro approach to assessing the cost of providing essential health care to a population.

  4. Social protection floors and gender equality. A brief overview

    01 July 2013

    This document explores some of the linkages between gender inequality and social protection, and assesses the significant contribution that social protection floors can make to promoting gender equality.

  5. Mapping international social protection statistics and indicators

    01 July 2013

    This report summarizes a workshop which brought together representatives from various organizations active in social protection.