Global Flagship Programme: Building social protection floors for all

Providing 130 million people with better access to social protection 

Social protection is a human right and a social and economic necessity. Social protection contributes to:
  • reductions in poverty, vulnerability, and inequalities;
  • increased demand for goods and services (and therefore bolsters local and national economies);
  • achievement of gender equality;
  • development of human capital and productivity, which lead to better economic performance.
With 55 percent of the worlds’ population without access to any form of social protection there is a critical need to extend coverage to those not yet covered.

The ILO’s Global Flagship Programme on Building Social Protection Floors for All, launched in early 2016, supports the implementation of social protection systems including floors, guided by ILO’s social security standards. It aims to contribute to providing 130 million people with better access to social protection by 2020 and to serve as an engagement platform for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals targets 1.3 and 3.8 in particular.

The Flagship programme’s vision and strategy are supported by its five-year implementation plan (2016–2020), based on a sound theory of change model. The strategy aims through a three-step approach to support countries in building their national social protection floors by contributing to systemic changes such as the adoption of social protection strategies and policies, of legal frameworks and the practical implementation or reform of social security. It develops knowledge and provides technical advisory services on key areas of support such as the extension of social protection to the informal economy, financing social protection, drafting of social security laws, linking social protection with climate change, etc. Through its Results Monitoring Tool it enables partners to consolidate the results achieved, learn from what works and replicate good practices. The programme initially planned to support 21 countries has progressively been extended to 50 countries.

The Flagship programme and COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis is posing a major public health challenge and will have serious economic and social impacts around the world. Social protection is at the heart of the policy responses that countries are implementing to deal with the immediate health, social and economic effects of the crisis. It has highlighted once again the importance of putting in place robust and universal social and health protection systems that offer income security to all through unemployment protection, sickness benefits and social assistance programmes.

As social protection is a central component of the ILO’s four-pillar response to the crisis, the Flagship programme is providing support to ILO constituents by:
For more information, email: