Philippines: Support for Social Protection Reform (formerly MDG Acceleration and Poverty Reduction)

Sovereign Project | 43263-012

Summary

To date, Government efforts to address poverty and improve human development outcomes have been compromised by low spending on social sectors, particularly social assistance programs. There is also a lack of policy and institutional coordination in the social protection sector, with several Departments undertaking uncoordinated programs that address various aspects of social protection. Benefits are further compromised by the lack of a proper targeting system to identify beneficiaries and high leakages to the non-poor coupled with under-coverage of the poor. The Government of the Philippines (GOP) has therefore requested ADB for policy advisory technical assistance (PATA) to support its ongoing social protection reform, including convergence in the social protection sector and rationalization of the overall social protection portfolio.

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Project Name Support for Social Protection Reform (formerly MDG Acceleration and Poverty Reduction)
Project Number 43263-012
Country Philippines
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 7733-PHI: Support for Social Protection Reform (formerly MDG Acceleration and Poverty Reduction)
Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction US$ 1.40 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Partnerships
Sector / Subsector Education - Pre-primary and primary
Health - Health insurance and subsidized health programs - Health system development
Public sector management - Social protection initiatives
Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Effective gender mainstreaming
Description
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

To date, Government efforts to address poverty and improve human development outcomes have been compromised by low spending on social sectors, particularly social assistance programs. There is also a lack of policy and institutional coordination in the social protection sector, with several Departments undertaking uncoordinated programs that address various aspects of social protection. Benefits are further compromised by the lack of a proper targeting system to identify beneficiaries and high leakages to the non-poor coupled with under-coverage of the poor. The Government of the Philippines (GOP) has therefore requested ADB for policy advisory technical assistance (PATA) to support its ongoing social protection reform, including convergence in the social protection sector and rationalization of the overall social protection portfolio.

The PATA will be executed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and seeks to (i) provide support to GOP, through the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), DSWD and the National Social Welfare Program Cluster, to formulate and implement an action plan for rationalization and coordination of existing social protection programs; and (ii) support DSWD in establishing a "referral system" for the poorest population, linked to the newly established national household targeting system. The referral system would involve tracking 4Ps beneficiaries to facilitate their referral to existing project resources for the poorest; strengthen coordination among stand-alone programs; and facilitate graduation of households who have moved out of poverty.

The PATA is consistent with ADB's support for the Medium Term Philippines Development Plan (MTPDP) and the mutual objectives of higher levels of pro-poor sustainable growth and attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as outlined in the Country Operations Business Plan (COBP 2010?2012). The support has significant potential for further leveraging key improvements in the Philippines' social protection portfolio, including improved targeting of beneficiaries, reduced leakage, and improved rationalization and consolidation of existing programs.

Impact The impact of the TA will be improved access to social protection and social services by the poor.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome The outcome of the TA will be an efficiently operating social protection system that is sustainable and adequately financed.
Progress Toward Outcome The TA's completion was extended for another year. It is expected that the TA will achieve outcome-level targets.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

The TA will have four outputs: (i) Development of national policy reforms for social protection; (ii) Formulation and implementation of an action plan for rationalization and coordination of social protection programs; (iii) Capacity development of national and local institutions to support the social protection reform agenda; and (iv) Establishment of a referral system and graduation policy for the poor population.

(i) Development of national policy reforms for social protection. This output will support a comprehensive review of the social protection sector and the policy framework for social protection, and provide recommendations for its improvement. The review will focus on assessing successful and unsuccessful current programs; and provide recommendations for consolidation and rationalization, improving budget allocation and efficiency of social protection spending, and gender mainstreaming.

(ii) Formulation and implementation of an action plan for rationalization and coordination of social protection programs. Based on the review under Output 1, an action plan for rationalization and coordination of social protection programs will be formulated and implemented. The action plan will provide concrete steps and milestones for key activities among identified actors at both national and local levels.

(iii) Capacity development of national and local institutions to support the social protection reform agenda. Capacity development will be provided to enable implementation of the milestones identified in Output 2. This will include targeted training programs, workshops, written materials, and coaching.

(iv) Establishment of a referral system and graduation policy for the poor population. This output will operationalize the rationalization agenda at the beneficiary level. The referral system would involve tracking 4Ps beneficiaries to facilitate their referral to existing project resources for the poorest; strengthen coordination among stand-alone programs; and facilitate graduation of households who have moved out of poverty.

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

The TA has engaged a social protection specialist/team leader who is responsible for overall coordination, complemented by resource persons and short-term individual consultants.

Outputs 1 and 2:

The TA has supported dialogue on the development of a framework and strategies whereby DSWD, in concert with other agencies and nongovernment actors can empower CCT households and promote sustainable transition out of poverty (i.e., transition-promotion ). Support to date has included a draft policy paper on transition-promotion, which fed into a TA-supported Brainstorming Workshop to Develop the Transition Framework and Strategies for CCT Beneficiaries on 3-4 October 2012, which included DSWD, AusAID, World Bank, Millennium Challenge Corporation, and UNICEF. The TA also provided inputs to a DSWD-convened Conference on the Philippine Social Protection Agenda (12 April 2013). The TA (in cooperation with AusAID and PIDS) supported the policy brief After Five Years of Pantawid, What Next? Presented to DSWD management on 1 July 2013 and publicly launched at a forum hosted by PIDS on 31 July, the brief proposes (i) extension of CCT beyond the 5-year limit and age 14 cut-off, in part given that high school completion is likely to play a critical role in accessing future economic opportunities; and (ii) linking a broader array of policies and programs to promote CCT beneficiary households' transition out of poverty. The TA has further supported the refinement of DSWD's social welfare and development indicators tool, and a policy paper on defining the near-poor and a policy brief that will guide DSWD int he formulation of its strategic plan for 2015-2019.

Output 3:

The TA supported series of activities to support DSWD''s engagement of CSOs as partners for Family Development Sessions (FDS) and the new "FDS Plus". Following successful completion of the initial pilot (involving 9 CSOs in 3 regions), DSWD is planning to replicate/upscale the model nationwide, and the TA will provide support for technical aspects and experience-sharing. The TA also supported 2 rounds of orientation for senior officials from DSWD''s ExeComm and ManComm in November 2012, aimed at demystifying rigorous impact evaluation methodologies for use in assessing CCT and other poverty-related programs. The TA has also supported capacity development for DSWD and partners in (i) the use of the newly updated social welfare and development indicators tool (iii) national communications planning for the expansion of Pantawid Pamilya (iii) implementation of the new FDS module for high school students and (iv) impact evaluation.

Output 4:

Complementing support for macro-level policy reforms and action plans (outputs 1 and 2) and related capacity building (output 3), output 4 aims at operationalizing the social protection reform agenda at the grassroots level. This includes developing operational mechanisms for transition-promotion (encompassing referral and what was formerly termed graduation ). Development of guidelines for Municipal Transition Planning is underway.

Geographical Location
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design TA design involved dialogue with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other agencies, international development partners, and members of academia, including during the process of designing a social protection-related loan and 2 other TAs (approved earlier in 2010). Development of this package of support included field visits and discussions in selected poor communities to assess needs and gaps in existing systems.
During Project Implementation Dialogue with such stakeholders has continued during project implementation, particularly through public forums. Development and implementation of the pilot on CSO engagement as partners in FDS has involved substantial CSO engagement, both under this TA as well as TA 7586 (which is assisting DSWD in exploring partnerships with CSOs under Pantawid Pamilya's Grievance Redress System). Ongoing work to develop a "transition-promotion" (municipal transition planning) framework and strategy has involved substantial stakeholder consultation and participation.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services A team of international specialists (1 expert inputting 20 person-months) and national experts (12 person-months total), supported by ADB, will be recruited using individual consultant selection in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2010, as amended from time to time). DSWD will be supported by an international social protection specialist in the development of a general framework and work plan for the TA and direct implementation of outputs 1, 2 and 4. This specialist, who will also act as the team leader for the TA, has already beeen mobilized. He/she will be supported by a national social development/gender specialist and a financial management specialist (to be mobilized), as well as field-based research staff.
Responsible ADB Officer Karin Schelzig
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Human and Social Development Division, SERD
Executing Agencies
Department of Social Welfare and DevelopmentCorazon Juliano-Soliman, Secretarydinky@dswd.gov.phBatasan Pambansa Complex Constitution Hills, Quezon City Philippines
Timetable
Concept Clearance 09 Aug 2010
Fact Finding 13 Apr 2010 to 26 Apr 2010
MRM -
Approval 13 Dec 2010
Last Review Mission -
PDS Creation Date 17 Apr 2010
Last PDS Update 27 Mar 2015

TA 7733-PHI

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
13 Dec 2010 12 Jan 2011 12 Jan 2011 31 Jan 2013 31 Jan 2016 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
0.00 1,400,000.00 300,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1,700,000.00 13 Dec 2010 882,685.65

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