Social protection services and income transfers are put in place by
governments to reduce households vulnerability to poverty, to manage
risks and counteract the negative impacts that unexpected life events may
have on their income, wealth or health, and to lift them out of chronic
poverty. Vulnerability, unexpected life events, and impoverishment not
only have an impact on low- and middle-income countries but also on
high-income countries, where unemployment resulting from economic
crises and cuts in public spending, can increase economic insecurity for
millions of people in middle-income brackets.
This brief describes challenges facing social protection agencies and
potential areas for joint work. It has three sections.
1. Social protection overview. This section covers mutual public policy
interests between health and other areas of social protection;
global trends in social protection regimes and the challenges; the
goals and principles for policy action; and a typology of common
policy interventions. It situates these issues within a broad policy,
economic, and stakeholder context.
2. Interventions. The second part describes in more detail the
different types of interventions presented in the previous section,
their health impacts and pathways, and provides some examples
of areas for joint work between health and other areas of social
3. Summary messages. Summarizes key messages and examples of
areas for collaboration between health and other areas of social