Poverty Dimension of the Social Protection Index: Assessing Results for Asia and the Pacific

Date: May 2014
Type: Papers and Briefs
Series: ADB Briefs
ISBN: 978-92-9254-544-4 (print), 978-92-9254-545-1 (web)
ISSN: 2071-7202 (print), 2218-2675 (web)
Author: Handayani, Sri Wening


This paper presents the results of ADB's study on Social Protection Index in Asia and the Pacific from the poverty dimension perspective. The Social Protection Index is a compact, simple indicator designed to help governments assess social protection programs. The paper analyzes the impact on the poor and the nonpoor of three major categories of social protection programs: social insurance, social assistance, and the labor market.

The analysis of the poverty impact of social protection programs using the SPI can help governments fine-tune their social protection programs to alleviate poverty and promote inclusive growth.

Key points

  • The poor receive less social insurance benefits than the nonpoor.
  • The quantity of social assistance benefits for poor and nonpoor is similar.
  • Effective social assistance programs can make a significant contribution to reducing poverty and inequality.
  • Although the poor represent a significant share of all potential beneficiaries, they do not receive an equitable share of the total benefit.
  • Coverage of labor market programs is similar for both the poor and nonpoor.
  • Broadening the coverage of social insurance to the poor, and people working in informal sector, will help to strengthen social protection programs in the Asia and Pacific.