Social Protection and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (Working Group “Social Protection”)

There is growing consensus in the international development debate that social protection plays a key role not only for the social but also for the economic and political development of countries. This very insight has deeply coined the text of the Agenda 2030: Social protection has not become one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) itself but it is explicitly mentioned as a key instrument for the achievement of SDG1 (eradication of income poverty) and SDG10 (reduction of income inequality) and apparently also key for the achievement of SDGs2-6 (ending hunger, healthy lives, education, gender equality, access to water). In addition, recent empirical research confirms that social protection is also a fundamental instrument for the achievement of pro-poor growth, employment and MSME development (SDGs 8-9) as well as for social inclusion, social cohesion, state building, political stability and international co-operation (SDGs 16-17). And some authors even argue that social protection promotes sustainable consumption and production patterns and thereby climate stability (SDGs 7 and 12-15).

The question that is left to answer is now how social protection have to be designed in order to achieve as many of these manifold tasks ascribed to them: cover as large shares of society as possible, reduce poverty and inequality in all of their dimensions, promote economic investment and growth (in particular among low-income groups) and support social inclusion, social cohesion, state building and political stability. In the best case, social protection is turned into the basis of a social contract between the state and its citizens.

The EADI Working Group “Social Protection” invites researchers and practitioners to submit abstracts of papers to be presented in a separate at EADI’s General Conference 2017 in Bergen during a separate working group session. The papers may

  • Present or discuss empirical evidence on the effects of social protection schemes on either of the SDGs
  • Present and discuss empirical evidence on the interaction between SDGs.
  • Analyse conceptually or provide empirical evidence on the question how social protection schemes should be designed to achieve the best effect on one or as many as possible of the SDGs,
  • Discuss what it requires to reform existing social protection schemes in order to improve their effects on SDG achievement, or
  • Analyse which political obstacles may prevent policy makers from implementing the reforms in social protection that would be needed to produce better results on SDG achievements.


Katja Bender, Markus Loewe