Dvara Analysis Weblog | What’s Social Safety?



Dvara Analysis
Anupama Kumar

At Dvara Analysis, we envision a world wherein each low-income family and each enterprise has full entry to acceptable monetary providers and social safety by a variety of channels that allow them to make use of providers securely and confidently. Monetary providers may also help households absolutely utilise their human and monetary capital (Rai, Ananth and Mor, 2013),  however they will solely go to this point. To make use of monetary providers successfully, households should have the capability to fulfill their fundamental wants, climate main monetary shocks and keep out of poverty. 

That is the place social safety is available in. The Social Safety Initiative expressly recognises the hyperlink between poverty and social safety. We intention to allow households to climb out of, and keep out of poverty and to deal with vulnerabilities throughout the lifecycle of every particular person. Since SPI was launched in 2019, we have now studied questions starting from the design of India’s welfare system to the supply of money advantages on the final mile to insurance coverage towards particular sorts of shocks. We find our work inside three key themes – designing common and complete social safety, activating lacking insurance coverage markets and facilitating last-mile supply of advantages.  

By our work inside these themes, we have now been confronted with some tough questions on the place the boundaries of social safety lie. A easy, social insurance coverage mannequin is simply too slender to embody our work. Varied actors are concerned in addressing vulnerabilities of low-income households, from the authorities, to monetary providers that allow financial savings and credit score, to business insurance coverage suppliers, to even suppliers of providers corresponding to expertise coaching or public infrastructure. The place do these slot in inside the broader ambit of social safety? For us, as a coverage advocacy and analysis organisation, the place will we imagine that we are able to contribute to social safety most successfully? We imagine that we’re well-placed to reply this query at this cut-off date, when we have now had the chance to look at varied sides of social safety, and the way they relate to different monetary providers.  

This sequence of posts will try to do two issues – first, to study the definitional boundaries of social safety and the place they relate to different monetary providers for low-income households, and second, to make use of this to reach at a working definition of social safety for policymakers and analysis organisations corresponding to Dvara Analysis. As a primary step, we break down this query as follows: 

  1. What ought to social safety comprise?: We have a look at this query from a policymaker’s standpoint and ask, how ought to policymakers determine what a social safety framework ought to comprise. This query will be damaged down into two parts — first, what items and providers comprise social safety, and second, what types ought to these items and providers take? 

The ILO gives some steerage on the primary of those questions. The ILO Social Safety Flooring Advice, 2012 (No. 202) gives definition of a minimal social safety flooring as together with entry to “a nationally outlined set of products and providers” and fundamental earnings safety. However what would this nationally outlined basket embrace? Advice 202 refers to an earlier ILO instrument, the Social Safety (Minimal Requirements) Conference, 1952 (No. 102), as containing a set of requirements that member nations ought to aspire to. Are the 9 particular advantages listed in Conference 102 — which embrace old-age, employment damage, maternity and several other different particular advantages — enough to offer common and complete social safety towards all of the dangers that households face? 

Additional, is it sufficient for social safety to easily shield towards danger — and what does this imply for the nationwide minimal basket of products and providers? Guhan (1994) argues that it isn’t. As a substitute, he locates social safety for growing international locations ought to take an anti-poverty method, and proposes a 3P framework for social safety, comprising promotional, preventive, and protecting measures. This 3P framework types the premise of the World Financial institution’s Social Safety & Labour Technique for 2012-2022. What do every of the 3Ps comprise? Would public utilities, corresponding to schooling amenities, publicly funded healthcare amenities or public transport, fall inside the ambit of social safety? 

  1. What’s a nationally acceptable social safety flooring?: The ILO Social Safety Flooring Advice, 2012 (No. 202) and the Sustainable Growth Objectives Decision, 2015 each confer with “nationally acceptable social safety flooring.” The devices each recognise that states have restricted fiscal capability and that social safety nets would look totally different in every nation. However on what foundation ought to states decide what’s nationally acceptable? As an illustration, Peter Townsend’s report on poverty in the UK in 1979 argued that poverty should be measured by way of relative deprivation — in different phrases, some folks may qualify as poor, in the event that they  “lack  the  sources  to … take part within the actions and have the  dwelling situations and facilities that are customary, or are at the very least broadly inspired or permitted, within the societies to which they belong.” Nonetheless, many international locations battle to scale back even easy headcount poverty (Fiszbein, Kanbur and Yemtsov 2013). How ought to totally different nations set objectives for his or her social safety techniques? How would this fluctuate primarily based on their fiscal capability? Additional, if public utilities qualify as social safety measures, how do governments allocate sources between public utilities and personal advantages? 
  2. What’s the hyperlink between work, wages and social safety?: Work is intently linked to social safety. The ILO’s conception of social safety consists of each contributory and non-contributory measures whereas creating financial alternatives is a vital a part of the World Financial institution’s 3P framework. How ought to the minimal wage be calculated, and the way ought to wages consider contributory social safety advantages? In international locations with giant casual workforces, corresponding to India, what sorts of social safety ought to the state lengthen to those that are employed exterior the formal, salaried sector? What sorts of protections needs to be out there solely to those that can not work and to not those that are in gainful employment? 
  1. Ought to social safety have a transformative function?: Devereux and Sabates-Wheeler(2004) argue that it isn’t sufficient for social safety to guard towards financial danger, however that it should additionally deal with social vulnerability in different phrases, social safety should play a transformative function. They argue that poverty and deprivation are additionally brought on by social deprivation, corresponding to belonging to a minority neighborhood. However to what extent ought to social safety play this function? Are measures corresponding to anti-discrimination legal guidelines inside the ambit of social safety — and ought they to be a part of a social safety flooring?  
  2. Does the non-public sector have a job in offering social safety?: We agree with the ILO Social Safety Flooring Advice, 2012 (No. 202) that nationwide social safety flooring needs to be funded by the state. However does this imply that the non-public sector has no function in social safety? Low-income people and households routinely use varied privately funded monetary mechanisms as each security nets and springboards (Collins et al. 2009). What’s the area out there, if any, to non-public gamers in offering social safety? How do privately funded monetary providers match inside the broad ambit of social safety?  

Equally, what’s the impression of personal gamers on social safety for everybody else? Behrendt and Nguyen (2019) elevate the query of what impression a rise in non-public insurance coverage mechanisms would have on danger pooling in social insurance coverage. Likewise, what’s the impression of personal healthcare or schooling on publicly funded amenities?   

That is in no way a complete listing of questions on what social safety should comprise; nor will we declare to have excellent solutions to those questions. Somewhat, our purpose with this weblog publish sequence is to reach at a working definition of social safety for policymakers and people fascinated by finance for low-income households. Subsequent posts on this sequence will intention to reply these questions, and we hope that this may start a fruitful dialog on the contours of social safety in India. 

Cite this Merchandise:


Kumar, A. (2021). What’s Social Safety? . Retrieved from Dvara Analysis.


Kumar, Anupama. “What’s Social Safety? .” 2021. Dvara Analysis.


Kumar, Anupama. 2021. “What’s Social Safety? .” Dvara Analysis.







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