Tools and data

SPF Costing Tool

 Inter-agency Social Protection Assessment Tools

A series of Inter-Agency Social Protection Assessment tools are being developed at the request of the Social Protection Inter-Agency Coordination Board (SPIAC-B). This process has been led by a multi-actor working group with the objective of establishing a unified set of definitions, assessment tools and outcome metrics that will enable a country to:

(i) assess its social protection system;
(ii) identify potential social protection policies and reform options; and
(iii) analyse trends over time.

The tools build on the expertise of the different agencies and are expected to help countries in the effective development/revision and implementation of national social protection strategies that take into consideration other socio-economic development objectives.

Each of the three tools is comprised of:

  • A “What Matters” guidance note laying out the conceptual foundation for the assessment;
  • A related standardized questionnaire which serves as a data collection tool;
  • A field protocol which lays out the proposed processes to be followed before, during and after the assessment;
  • A country report outline that will present the results of the assessment.

The Core Systems Diagnostics Instrument (CODI)

The CODI tool provides a broad, overall assessment of the policies, programs and administrative arrangements in relation to national objectives and international principles and standards (to be pilot-tested).

CODI has been designed:

  • to map the policies, legal framework, schemes and programmes of the social protection system in a given country, including adopted national objectives of the system;
  • to analyse social protection system performance against national social protection objectives and against international principles and standards;
  • to serve as an evidence base for country dialogue on how to strengthen a social protection system and identify policy options, taking into account local conditions.

CODI assesses the performance of social protection systems through the policy and regulatory framework (module 1), program design and implementation (module 2) and evaluates the overall system performance against a standardized set of performance criteria (module 3). The instrument is still under revision and has not yet been pilot-tested.

The Public Works Tool

The Public Works Tool has been developed and tested in El Salvador and Liberia and it is currently under revision.

Public works programmes have progressively become a key component of many social protection systems. This tool assesses key issues in the design and implementation of public work programmes through eight modules including: conceptual planning, eligibility and targeting, nature of benefit, timing and duration of the program; asset creation and services; institutional arrangements; monitoring & evaluation and accountability; harmonization and integration with other programs; skills and employability; and conditions of work and labour practices. The instrument has been piloted in El Salvador and Liberia and it is currently under revision.

The Identification Tool

The identification of beneficiaries is an integral part of the design and implementation of any social protection policy. This tool helps assess how inclusive, robust and integrated identification systems are. Having been tested in Peru and Djibouti, the tool is currently under revision.

Costing and Assessment Tools

The costing tools and assessment protocols below have been developed and tested under the framework of the Social Protection Floor Initiative since 2010. They help users estimate the present and future cost of implementing a set of social protection programmes that contribute to a national SPF.

  • Download presentation on the differences between the tools available, and their history and development.

The SPF Costing Tool

The Social Protection Floor Costing Tool, developed in 2011, allows users to estimate the cost of different social protection measures and helps them examine the affordability and sustainability of increasing the scope and extent of social protection coverage by providing concrete quantitative figures over a 20-year period.

Users can estimate costs for the following cash transfers: old-age pensions, child benefits, disability benefits, orphan benefits, education stipends, birth lump-sum benefits, youth labour market programmes, and unemployment programmes.

The Tool can be used to analyse both existing and planned social protection benefits and is already being tested in a number of countries such as Egypt, Argentina and Senegal. It is accompanied by a step-by-step Manual and an Explanatory Note.

Rapid Assessment Protocol (RAP)

The RAP enables users to evaluate the cost of taking certain steps to close social protection coverage gaps. The construction of the model goes hand-in-hand with a national dialogue process involving national authorities and other actors in social protection. Furthermore, the RAP provides a basis for discussing and simulating alternative financing options and fiscal space. It is currently being used in Mozambique, Thailand, Indonesia, Benin, Nepal, Jordan, Burundi, and Cameroon.

  • Access presentation outlining a step-by-step methodology for conducting a rapid assessment, including: a social protection stocktaking and mapping; preliminary analysis; and priority areas for intervention.
  • Summary of country costing exercise using the RAP: Thailand

Rapid Assessment Protocol Plus (RAP+)

The RAP+ uses micro, household-level data to provide users with a more refined estimate of the number of beneficiaries targeted and the cost of the benefits proposed. It also allows the user to assess the hypothetical impact of alternative benefit packages on the poverty headcount and the poverty gap. The RAP+ is currently being used for El Salvador, Honduras, Togo and Vietnam.

  • Download presentation on poverty impact analysis, part of the RAP+


Implementation Activities

The Social Protection Floor Initiative is supporting a growing number of countries in their endeavours to build social protection systems at any stage of the process. To this end, SPF-I actors have collected evidence, documented experiences and developed tools like Social Protection Expenditure Reviews (SPER), social budgeting, actuarial models, tools for needs’ assessments, costing assessments, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation to support countries in their endeavours to build their own social protection floor. The following table presents an overview of activities for which SPF-I members cansupport is offered.

 Raising awareness   - Identify key stakeholders and relevant actors at the national and international level
 National SPF task force   - Establish a national SPF task force composed of key experts and decision-makers and supported by UN SPF country teams
 Social protection stocktaking                - Map the actual social protection situation and compile available data on existing schemes and coverage gaps
  - Collect key data that is lacking
 Elaboration of measures   - Identify viable policy and/or reform options
  - Elaborate country-specific SPF policies through national dialogue
 Analysis   - Evaluate the cost of policy options
  - Evaluate the long-term financial sustainability
  - Reconsider measures in light of costing, reconsider costs in light of needs
 Implementation   - Build national consensus on a specific SPF framework
  - Build up national delivery capacities
  - Support the national budget available for sustainable financing
 Implementation Monitoring   - Implement a monitoring, evaluation and reporting mechanism

For more information, see the SPF Manual and Strategic Framework for Joint UN Country Operations.



ILO Social Security Inquiry Database

ILO Social Security Database – Programmes and Mechanisms

ILO Social Security Expenditure Database

UN DESA Population Division, Population Estimates and Projections Section 

United States Government - Social Security Programs Throughout the World