Advancing Inclusive Growth through Social Protection
From APEC HRDWG Wiki
This project is based on the 1995 Osaka Action Agenda, in which APEC Ministers recognized common policy concepts, joint activities and policy dialogues as the three elements to be taken into account in each specific area of APEC economic and technical cooperation. It also responds to the APEC New Strategy for Structural Reform-endorsed by leaders in Yokohama-which calls on HRDWG to lead work related to effective social safety net programs.
The project furthers APEC’s free and open trade and investment objective by promoting social protection standards that advance inclusive and balanced growth, two of the five pillars of the Leaders’Growth Strategy. The project also responds to the outcome of the 2010 Beijing HRD Ministerial Meeting. Concerned about persistent unemployment and underemployment, increasing numbers of discouraged workers, and widespread informal-sector employment, Ministers expressed the need to “take stock of and disseminate in a timely manner, innovative and successful social protection practices in our economies which effectively address unemployment.” Ministers furthermore agreed to “…improve [our] social safety nets through sound design and delivery…” (see Joint Ministerial Statement).
The project is in line with the priority actions included in the “Action Plan for Developing Human Resources, Vigorously Promoting Employment, and Achieving Inclusive Growth,” adopted at the 2010 Beijing Ministerial Meeting, including:
- sharing experiences and best practices on good design and delivery of social protection programs;
- conducting research on effective measures to extend social safety nets, particularly to workers in the informal sector; and
- expanding research on active social protection measures, with a particular focus on social security, social assistance and benefits provided to the most vulnerable groups to encourage their employment.
At the Working Group level, the project builds on key social protection themes (e.g., temporary job creation programs and cash transfer schemes) that emerged from discussions at the July 2010 HRD Experts Meeting in Jakarta on “Human Resource Impacts of the Global Economic Crisis"and supports all three objectives listed in the HRD WG Work Plan: 1) Develop 21st Century Knowledge and Skills for All; 2) Integrate HRD into the Global Economy; and 3) Address the Social Dimension of Globalization.
This two-year project will be implemented through a variety of activities, including a seminar held in San Francisco, CA, September 12-13, 2011. Resource persons for the seminar were drawn from APEC member economy governments as well as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Social Security Association (ISSA), the World Bank, and the International Labour Office (ILO). Seminar objectives included:
- enhancing understanding through a direct exchange of best practices;
- increasing knowledge for how to improve the efficiency and sustainability of social protection programs; and
- developing strategies for reaching vulnerable populations.
Project Partners and Overseers
This Human Resources Development Working Group/Labor and Social Protection Network project is overseen by the United States Department of Labor and the Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development. The project is co-sponsored by Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russian Federation, and Chinese Taipei.
Project Work Plan:
Case study and general survey questionnaires distributed to APEC member economies. Member economies will submit completed questionnaires at the September 12-13th seminar in San Francisco.
The seminar will be hosted by the U.S. Department of Labor in San Francisco. It will examine various aspects of social protection. The seminar’s objective is to gain a better understanding of how social protection programs help dislocated workers, unemployed workers, informal-sector workers and other at-risk workers. Sessions will focus on how social protection serves as an economic stabilizer and platform for growth, examine what the essential building blocks are for effective social protection systems and ways to overcome the barriers to extending social protection to the most vulnerable in society. Sessions will be guided by the case study templates and general surveys submitted by the member economies. Discussion about the different social protection themes echoed above will happen amongst the participants.
Timeframe-September-October 2011. A seminar report will be finalized soon after and all the information will be posted on this site to grant wide-accessibility and spur more discussion. A research paper will be commissioned to address APEC economies’ case studies of social protection programs, innovative strategies, efficacy and coverage of social protection measures.
The "Seminar on Strengthening Social Protection Systems" was hosted by the Philippines' Department of Social Welfare and Development on July 25-26, 2012 in Manila. The commissioned paper was presented at the seminar.
After the second seminar, a seminar report, and the findings of the seminar showing the effective social protection strategies will be published. All relevant materials will then be published on this site.
Relevant Project Documents
For Additional Information
Questions about the project can be directed to Mr. Chris Watson of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of International Relations, Bureau of International Labor Affairs (email@example.com) and (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Last Updated 9/21/11