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

Publication | May 2014

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.

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.