The Social Protection Indicator: Assessing Results for the Pacific

Publication | November 2016

Social insurance continues to be the dominant component of social protection expenditures in Pacific island countries at 1.2% of GDP per capita, accounting for almost two-thirds of the overall Social Protection Index for the Pacific region.

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The other two main components of social protection, the Social Protection Index (SPI) for social assistance was 0.6% of GDP per capita in Pacific Island countries, while the SPI for labor market programs was 0.1% of GDP per capita.

Comparing social protection expenditures with actual beneficiaries by component, it should be noted that the relatively high level of the expenditures on social insurance does not translate into a comparably high level of actual beneficiaries reached. Social insurance programs accounted for 63.8% of social protection expenditures on average in Pacific island countries, yet these programs accounted for only 36.6% of actual beneficiaries on average.

Overall, social assistance accounted for 32.3% of social protection expenditures on average in Pacific island countries, yet social assistance benefits accounted for more than half (51.2%) of actual social protection beneficiaries. Active labor market programs accounted for just 3.9% of expenditures but about 12.3% of actual beneficiaries

About this publication

This 2016 report is the first report to specifically assess the social protection systems of Pacific island countries. It builds on the 2013 Asian Development Bank (ADB) report, The Social Protection Index: Assessing Results for Asia and the Pacific, which included an assessment of nine Pacific island countries within a survey of the wider Asia and Pacific region. This report focuses on 13 Pacific island countries and is based on data from 2012.


  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgments
  • Executive Summary
  • Background and Methodology
  • Social Protection Indicator Results
  • Depth and Breadth of Social Protection
  • Poverty and Gender Dimensions of the Social Protection Indicator
  • Progress in Social Protection over Time
  • Summing Up Results and Policy Implications
  • Appendixes

Additional Details

  • Poverty
  • Social development and protection
  • Social protection
  • Cook Islands
  • Fiji
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Micronesia, Federated States of
  • Nauru
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • 194
  • BKK168026-2
  • 978-92-9257-527-4 (Print)
  • 978-92-9257-528-1 (e-ISBN)

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