Inclusive societies and development

The EU Social Protection Systems Programme




The European Union Social Protection Systems Programme (EU-SPS) is a European Union action co-financed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Government of Finland. The OECD Development Centre and the Government of Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) manage its implementation.

The EU-SPS supports low- and middle-income countries in building sustainable and inclusive social protection systems. The programme is being implemented over the course of four years until the end of 2018 in partnership with national and regional social protection authorities, think-tanks and expert institutions in 10 countries.



The programme has three specific objectives:

  • To develop appropriate methodologies and tools with which to assess the social protection policies, programmes and capacities in ten selected partner countries.
  • To enhance administrative and technical capacity in the partner countries to support the development of affordable, sustainable and inclusive social protection systems.
  • To generate evidence-based knowledge for future EU co-operation and for use by other development partners on the effectiveness of social protection in reducing poverty and vulnerability, addressing inequality and promoting social cohesion.


Country-driven focus

The EU-SPS provides overarching support for the development of social protection systems through a combination of:

  • country-driven technical assessments
  • development of country-specific analytical tools
  • capacity strengthening for policy makers and practitioners.

Support includes systemic capacity assessments and development, research and testing of analytical tools that can be used to assess the current status and potential pathways for the social protection system. The programme works with national research and capacity-development institutions to support policy makers and practitioners.

Our work is closely co-ordinated with inter-ministerial and inter-agency social protection co-operation groups at the country level. At the global level, we collaborate closely with the Social Protection Inter-Agency Co-operation Board (SPIAC-B).

In addition to strengthening co-operation among SPIAC-B members, the programme facilitates greater involvement by national and sub-regional expert institutions to strengthen national capacities for the planning, analysis and implementation of social protection systems and their core components.


Participating countries

Social protection participating countries map



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