Integrated Social Protection

Leaving No One Behind

Main Contacts

Lisa Kurbiel
Head of Secretariat
Nenad Rava
Head of Programmes

Why Integrated policy for SDG acceleration

The investment strategy is based on driving transformation, understood as delivering solutions that accelerate the SDG progress through unlocking systemic policy shift. The focus is on identification and activation of “leverage points” - those policy and/or institutional changes that produce a catalytic “chain-reaction” across sectors and stakeholder groups. The joint programmes aim to spearhead systemic change that yield social impact across the whole spectrum of the SDGs with the spotlight on social groups left behind.

The impact of joint programmes contributes to progress on multiple SDGs, producing catalytic results at scale within reduced timeframes. Given the interdependence of the SDGs, joint programmes facilitate change by working across sectors and silos through an integrated, multidimensional approach that addresses vulnerabilities across the whole life cycle and among priority target groups.

Portfolio Overview


Total funding
Integrated Social Protection
$ m
Overall funding
Integrated Social Protection
$ m
Integrated Social Protection

As the strategic instrument for galvanizing SDG acceleration, the Joint SDG Fund invested USD 70 million into a portfolio of 39 countries on integrated policy solutions for social protection to leave no one behind (LNOB). The Call for Concept notes was launched in March 2019 and it led to 114 country applying. 35 top proposals were developed into full-fledged joint programmes and launched in January 2020.  The portfolio will deliver transformative results at scale by January 2022 by enabling Such velocity in achieving the results that typically require 5 years or more, also echoes the urgency of the Decade of Action.

Social protection provides a strategic opportunity for catalytic SDG acceleration by enabling multi-sectoral and systemic innovation. The theories of change of joint programmes are predicated on the assumption that actions taken at the individual and household levels will lead to movements out of poverty by creating a multiplier effect across different SDGs. The systemic impact of the investment will be manifested in health care, education, social welfare services, childcare, employment, social cohesion, and/or pensions with strong national ownership and leadership.

The investment prioritize the most vulnerable. All joint programmes address gender equality and women’s empowerment, and 33 joint programmes impact women directly. A total of 22 joint programmes support Persons with Disabilities, with the overall investment into this group totaling $US 43 Million.

Vulnerable Groups

Number of countries with JPs focusing on each group

All joint programmes mainstream gender, as reflected in the Gender marker.


 Regional Composition in the Portfolio

Country Joint Programme Title
Albania Improving Municipal Social Protection Service Delivery
Argentina Early Childhood and Sustainable Development: Towards a Comprehensive Care System
Bangladesh Enhancing Social Protection for Female Tea Garden Workers and their Families in Sylhet Division, Bangladesh
Brazil Building Better Lives through Integrated Early Childhood Interventions: Investing in the Happy Child Programme to Accelerate the Achievement of SDGs in Brazil
Cambodia Social Protection Floors in Cambodia
Chile Nodo Platform: Improving Social Protection and Inclusion of the Elderly through ICT.
Congo Improving the Quality of Life of Indigenous Peoples in the Department of Lékoumou through Improved Access to Social Protection Programmes in the Republic of Congo
Costa Rica Strengthening of the National Social Protection Strategy Puente al Desarrollo to Break the Cycle of Poverty at the Local Level with a Gender and Environmental Perspective
Ecuador Expanding the Social Protection System for Young Men and Women in the Informal Economy
Gabon Citizenship and Social Protection in Gabon
Georgia Transforming Social Protection for Persons with Disabilities in Georgia
Indonesia Leaving No One Behind: Adaptive Social Protection for All in Indonesia
Kenya A Progressive Pathway Towards a Universal Social Protection System in Kenya to Accelerate the Achievement of the SDGs
Lao PDR Leaving No One Behind: Establishing the Basis for Social Protection Floors in Lao PDR
Lebanon Transforming National Dialogue for the Development of an Inclusive National SP System for Lebanon
Madagascar Development of an Integrated Social Protection System for Madagascar, Sensitive to the Needs of People Living with Disabilities
Malawi Social Protection for the SDGs in Malawi: Accelerating Inclusive Progress Towards the SDGs
Mauritania Developing an Integrated Social Protection Model in the Region of Guidimakha, Mauritania
MCO Barbados Towards Universal Adaptive Social Protection in the Eastern Caribbean
MCO Samoa Strengthening Resilience of Pacific Island States Through Universal Social Protection
Mexico Closing Gaps: Making Social Protection Work for Women in Mexico
Mongolia Extending Social Protection to Herders with Enhanced Shock Responsiveness
Montenegro Activate! Integrated Social Protection and Employment to Accelerate Progress for Young People in Montenegro
Nigeria Institutionalizing Social Protection for Accelerated SDG Implementation in Nigeria
Palestine Towards a Universal and Holistic Social Protection Floor for Persons with Disabilities and Older Persons in the State of Palestine
Philippines Ensuring Inclusive and Risk-Informed Shock-Responsive Social Protection Resulting in More Resilient Communities in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)
Rwanda Accelerating Integrated Policy Interventions to Promote Social Protection in Rwanda
São Tomé and Príncipe Reaching the Furthest Behind First: A Catalytic Approach to Supporting the Social Protection in Sao Tome & Principe
Somalia Toward a Somali Led Transition to National Social Protection
South Africa An Integrated and Universal Social Protection Linked to Developmental Social Welfare Services in South Africa
Tanzania Strengthening the Social Protection System in Tanzania
Thailand Accelerating Progress Towards an Integrated and Modernized Social Protection System for all in Thailand
Turkmenistan Improving the System of Social Protection through the Introduction of Inclusive Quality Community-Based Social Services
Uzbekistan Accelerating Agenda 2030 in Uzbekistan through Inclusive Transformation of the Social Protection System
Vietnam Accelerating Vietnam’s Transition Toward Inclusive and Integrated Social Protection


COVID-19 increases the salience of social protection for the most vulnerable, providing an opportunity for the Joint SDG Fund’s investment into integrated social protection to repurposed 20% of their respective budgets into 1/3 of the programmes to directly soften the impact of COVID-19. While, 1/2 have swiftly identified opportunities for scaling up existing programmes in order to offset any negative externalities.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the Joint SDG Fund has only redoubled its efforts to build back better and demonstrate its commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by:

  • Building new and fully comprehensive social protection systems that mainstream human rights to address inequalities, vulnerabilities, and poverty all worsened by COVID-19.
  • Making social protection systems more adaptive and resilient for the most vulnerable in preparation for future shocks, pandemics or environmental.
  • Designing and implementing innovative policies that are genuinely cross-sectoral so, policy outcomes become more coherent, just and sustainable.


The designations employed and the presentation of material on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or any area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
Insights & Stories

Expert Insights