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Social Protection Strategic Framework

II. UNICEF's Approach and Principles

© UNICEF/NYHQ2011-1778/Giacomo Pirozzi

To download Chapter II, please click here.

Based on the understanding of poverty and deprivation as multi-dimensional and dynamic, this chapter presents UNICEF’s definition and approach to social protection, as well as the key principles that guide its work. It discusses what vulnerability means and the implications for social protection policy and programmatic work.

The chapter also explores the rationale behind promoting the development and strengthening of integrated social protection systems as a highly effective approach for addressing the multiple and compounding vulnerabilities faced by children and their families - a topic developed further in Chapter IV.

Three core principles to guide UNICEF’s work on social protection are also presented:

  • Progressive realization of universal coverage, discussing the ultimate goal of universality, while acknowledging different capacities and contexts that may challenge implementation. The chapter acknowledges the need to support and encourage countries to identify and progressively build up the mix of policies and programmes most conducive to universal coverage, and includes a general discussion of different policy options and targeting methodologies and approaches. 
  • National leadership and context specificity, discussing the importance of supporting nationally owned and led systems and the need to find the most effective and appropriate programmes, as well as sustainable strategies in any given context. 
  • Inclusive social protection, introducing this concept as a key principle for advancing equitable outcomes for children and their families. Dimensions of exclusion, as well as specific programme design considerations are developed in greater detail in Chapter VI.

Key areas covered in this chapter:

• Definition and conceptual framework
• Lessons learned: UNICEF practice
• Integrated systems for equitable outcomes
• Three key principles for UNICEF’s work on social protection






Executive Summary


 Download in English, French

Evidence on the Impacts of Social Protection on Child Outcomes (Annex B)

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