The Revised Social Protection Index: Methodology and Handbook

Institutional Document | January 2012

ADB developed the Social Protection Index in 2005–2008 to address the recognition that economic growth is insufficient in addressing the needs of the poor and vulnerable.

  • US$24.00 (paperback)

ADB approved its Social Protection Strategy in 2001. The strategy supports ADB’s developing member countries in their efforts to reduce poverty and vulnerability, and to provide their populations with effective social protection.

Systematic and rigorous monitoring and impact assessment of social protection is a prerequisite for improving the existing systems and developing new policies and programs. Most developing member countries have limited institutional and technical capacity to carry out regular monitoring and evaluation. ADB’s social protection index (SPI), developed in 2005, summarizes the extent of social protection in the countries.

In 2010, ADB adopted a revised SPI. Significantly, the index can be disaggregated or decomposed in different ways, such as by depth and breadth of coverage; by category, including social insurance, social assistance, and labor market; by poor and non-poor beneficiaries; and by gender. This disaggregation can be combined in various ways to provide a rich analysis of social protection at the country and regional levels.

The revised SPI was not explicitly designed for ranking the relative performance of countries, although it is internationally comparable. Rather, it was designed for practical use to assess the nature of social protection programs in countries and to identify these programs’ broad impact on the poor and vulnerable. It is a useful analytical and assessment tool for countries’ social protection programs.

This document provides social protection background and offers guidance for preparing social protection country assessments, which can pave the ground for further activities.


  • Foreword
  • The Revised Social Protection Index: Methodology
  • A Handbook for Calculating the Revised Social Protection Index
  • References
  • Appendix: Calculating the Social Protection Index

Additional Details

  • ADB administration and governance
  • Social development and protection
  • Social protection
  • 978-92-9092-496-8 (print)
  • 978-92-9092-497-5 (web)

Subscribe to our monthly digest of latest ADB publications.

Follow ADB Publications on social media.