Social Protection Masterclass

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Social Protection Masterclass

Available in English

We are observing a renewed appreciation of social protection: the recent pandemic once again reminded us that rights-based social protection systems, are powerful socio-economic stabilizers and engines of development. 

The essential remerging questions in the current debate around the future of social protection systems go back to reflections on different forms of protection, adaptive strategies coordinating social protection with other public policies, diversity of schemes and their design, sustainable solutions to finance these systems.


  • Who should benefit from social protection? Poor and vulnerable or all of us?
  • What are the main barriers and possible solutions towards extending social protection coverage?
  • Who are the architects of social protection systems: lawyers or economists?
  • Do all countries can afford comprehensive social protection solutions?
  • Is social protection a necessary investment?
  • Who are the key actors who make transformative decisions?
  • What are the current trends and examples of innovative solutions?

These are only a few of the many questions we invite you to reflect on together with the key speakers of this Masterclass who are ready to tell you their stories.



Want to join?

This free masterclass is available on eCampus, the ITCILO's online learning platform.

What will I learn?

Navigate a complex social protection landscape with guidance from 9 experts, each sharing their unique knowledge, experiences, and stories in our video lessons. From unravelling the multifaceted definition of social protection, with distinctive characteristics of both legal and econometric aspects, to delving into the institutional landscapes, schemes’ design and innovative solutions offered by the ILO to reinforce and advance social protection systems worldwide.


  • Lesson 1. Building social protection systems

Explore the multitude of definitions of social protection. Consider the significance of both legal and econometric aspects in building and reinforcing social protection systems and learn how the ILO leverages essential expertise to develop innovative solutions and accelerate results in building social protection systems. 


  • Lesson 2. International social security standards and principles

Reflect on how the international social security standards provide for a flexible yet universal framework to unlock the full potential of social protection strategies globally. Learn how this normative framework accommodates the needs and levels of development of different countries.


  • Lesson 3. Institutional landscape for social protection systems

Discover the key ‘ingredients’ of comprehensive and efficient social protection systems and identify the key decision-makers involved. Unveil how policy dialogues and discussions on social protection can swiftly change directyions and what it takes to coordinate all the components of a social protection system.   


  • Lesson 4. Functional structure of social protection

Dive into the systemic approach to social protection and see how specific needs are reflected in its functional or branch structure. Explore further how a comprehensive social protection system takes into account the dynamic nature of individuals’ life journeys.


  • Lesson 5. Schemes and benefits

Explore a multitude of social protection schemes, and how this palette of tools can provide social protection to all. Delve deeper into how the design of these schemes affects the level and predictability of the benefits, the number of people covered and the overall sustainability of payments.


  • Lesson 6. Targeting vs universal protection

Reflect on the way we look at social protection: who should benefit from it? Only the poor and vulnerable, or all of us? Critically examine the efficiency/inefficiency of targeting, and the various strategies and policies countries opt for when gradually extending the coverage and adequacy of benefits of their social protection systems.


  • Lesson 7. Extending social protection coverage

Further delve into the barriers and challenges of social protection extension strategies. Consider why, despite different efforts, we still observe significant coverage gaps worldwide and who are those insufficiently protected or face difficulties in accessing adequate social protection. Uncover potential solutions for extending social protection coverage and how the ILO’s two-dimensional strategy translates into reality.


  • Lesson 8. Financing social protection

Understand why social protection is considered a necessary investment to reduce poverty and inequality. Explore the existing options for financing social protection, including for countries with different levels of development. Discover if all countries can afford this investment and if the poorest countries can afford a universal social protection system.


  • Lesson 9. Future of social protection

Examine current policy debates and trends in social protection and contemplate the transformative power of digitalization and new technologies. Think of the next steps in your learning journey on advancing social protection.

How will I learn?

Explore our 9-video lesson series for a flexible and self-paced learning experience. Our specialists share their stories and expertise, providing valuable insights to enhance your understanding. Progress at your own pace, and when you're ready, assess your knowledge to earn a digital credential, validating your newfound expertise.