The gradual introduction of universal social security is feasible–and already happening!

Organisers: Development Pathways and Act Church of Sweden

Thursday 8 Feb


While universal social protection is broadly embraced as a goal or at least “a vision”, most social security programmes in low- and middle-income countries are poverty-targeted rather than universal, especially if they are supported by international development partners. The standard argument that “universal social security is simply not affordable in poor countries” typically overrides all arguments for universality.

In this webinar, it was argued that:

  1. It is financially feasible to introduce universal old age pensions, as well as child and disability benefits, in low- and middle-income countries, using the examples of Ghana, India, Uganda, and Vietnam
  2. The gradual introduction of these benefits will reduce income poverty in a dramatic way.
  3. Worldwide, 52 low- and middle-income countries have already introduced 88 programs that guarantee universal access to such lifecycle benefits. Overwhelmingly, these programs are led and financed entirely by national governments.

Read more about the webinar discussions and access the slide presentation.

Panellists: Daisy Sibun and Stephen Kidd – Development Pathways

Discussant: Shirin Gul, Director – Government of Kiribati

Moderator: Gunnel Axelsson Nycander – Act Church of Sweden