Social Protection is the Best Foundation for Development
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
The social and economic system that has powered global economic relations in the past two decades is clearly in crisis. We now know only too well that periods of “rapid growth” have been based on unsustainable bubbles; that such growth has contributed little in terms of generating more decent work and has significantly increased inequality; and that people will no longer accept these unfair outcomes, as shown by the waves of protest in many countries.
We need a completely different approach to economic policy making, one that will provide for a more just and equitable society and be more compatible with the aspirations and expectations of citizens. This means that decent employment and better living conditions cannot be seen only as potential byproducts of income growth – or even as ends in themselves – but as a means to sustainable growth.
In this context, an important new report, Social protection floor: for a fair and inclusive globalisation (pdf), from the Social Protection Advisory Group, chaired by Michelle Bachelet for the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and World Health Organisation, (WHO) has just been released. The report provides a key element of the economic blueprint for forward-looking economic policy, by emphasising the role of social protection measures in cushioning the impact of the crisis among vulnerable populations, serving as a macroeconomic stabiliser fuelling demand and enabling people to better overcome poverty and social exclusion in both developing and developed countries.