1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Policy and Development (2000 - 2009)

Conference News: Financing Social Policy



Social policy is a central instrument to promote an inclusive and democratically anchored development process. In recent years, the general perception of the costs and benefits of social policy has changed, and policy makers are increasingly aware of the positive potential social policy entails. Nevertheless, the challenge is to build social programmes on financial arrangements that are themselves sustainable, equitable and conducive to economic development.

The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) initiated a project in 2006 to examine options and constraints for financing social policy in developing countries. The research, which is funded by the Ford Foundation, explores the developmental impact associated with specific financing techniques and revenue sources, the latter covering taxation, social insurance contributions, social and pension funds, mineral rents, remittances and aid. The project is situated within the UNRISD programme Social Policy and Development, which takes a broad approach to social policy, defining the concept as going beyond basic protection and poverty reduction goals to impact on the productive, reproductive, distributive and protective spheres simultaneously.

UNRISD has commissioned 13 papers on the theme of financing social policy, and these were presented at a two-day workshop in Geneva on 1-2 March 2007. This workshop, which brought together the commissioned researchers, as well as academics, government officials, representatives of donor agencies and experts from the United Nations, including staff from the International Labour Office (ILO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Health Organization (WHO), was a forum for discussion of the outline of the project, and for identification of key research questions, cross-cutting issues and preliminary policy implications. During the second stage of the project, UNRISD plans to commission in-depth and comparative country case studies in different geographical regions on the six major revenue sources around which the project is framed.
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  • Pub. Date: 14 Jul 2007
    Pub. Place: Geneva
    ISSN: 1020-8054
    From: UNRISD