Tools and data

SPF Costing Tool


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