English, Spanish
2411-9385 (online)
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A series of monographs that examine, in a regional scope, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC)'s outlook in different areas. Since 2014, this series merged with the series "ECLAC Notes". Titles in this series are grouped in four subseries: Economic development, social development, sustainable development and planning for development.
Towards Universal Social Protection

Towards Universal Social Protection

Latin American Pathways and Policy Tools You do not have access to this content

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29 Feb 2016
9789210575218 (PDF)

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This book reflects on the public policies, programmes and regulatory frameworks that are taking a rights-based approach to expanding social protection coverage and benefits in Latin America, with a view to achieving universal coverage. Its discussion of the policy tools and programmes pursued in the region aims to provide the reader with technical and programmatic insights for assembling and coordinating public policies within consistent and sustainable social protection systems. The combination of normative orientations and stock of technical knowledge, together with advances regarding the rights-based approach to social protection within a life cycle framework, afford the reader not only a tool box of specific social protection instruments, but also an in-depth examination of related political economy aspects.
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  • Foreword
    The proposals put forward by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in the documents presented at its last three sessions —Time for Equality: Closing Gaps, Opening Trails; Structural Change for Equality: An Integrated Approach to Development; and Compacts for Equality: Towards a Sustainable Future, which together make up the Commission’s “equality trilogy”— have attempted to focus the regional debate on the need to move towards rights-based public policies geared towards attaining greater social equality.
  • Summary
    This book aims to discuss and disseminate knowledge regarding the rightsbased public policies, programmes and regulatory frameworks that are being used to expand social protection coverage and benefits in Latin America.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Shifts in social protection policies: the context

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    • Rights and the life cycle: reordering social protection tools
      A number of Latin American countries have made major changes to their social protection systems and to social policy generally in the early years of the twenty-first century, with differences attributable to their history and stage of development.
    • Models of development, the welfare state matrix and Latin American social policy tools
      Latin America has been undergoing a vigorous transformation in its social policies, especially as regards social protection. One way of looking at this is that an effort is being made, via different pathways and with a variety of instruments, to construct a model of social citizenship for the first time in the region’s history since the import substitution stage (Cecchini, Filgueira and Robles, 2014).
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Life cycle and spatial dimensions of social protection

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    • Early childhood and childhood
    • Adolescence and youth
      Adolescence and youth are increasingly recognized as key stages in life. The accumulation of tools and assets needed for welfare during adulthood starts as early as early childhood and childhood but comes to a crossroads when choosing among paths for the transition to adulthood (ECLAC, 2011b). The physical, social and psychological changes concentrated in a few years during this stage set paths that subsequently condition behaviour in adulthood as well as the individual’s position in the social structure. In other words, how adult roles are taken on —and sequenced— in the lives of teenagers and young people largely determines access to opportunities and well-being in later years (Coleman, 1974).
    • Working and reproductive years
      The longest stage of the life cycle comes between youth and old age. This stage combines productive development (labour market participation) and reproductive development (childbearing and the unpaid work of raising children and caring for older adults).
    • Old age
      Just as adolescence and youth are structured on the basis of transitions to adulthood, the years following the adult stage are marked by transitions towards old age. Yet, whereas in the first case the transitions are driven by aspirations and plans for the life ahead, the second involve advancing towards the end of the lifespan.
    • Policies on access to housing
      Access to housing is one of the sectoral policies that need to be integrated with the social protection system to fulfil the population’s economic, social and cultural rights. The goals of a social protection system include defining unsatisfied demand for housing and ensuring the population at large has different ways of satisfying it. This objective is based on Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which proclaims that “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services”; and Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which recognizes that “everyone has the right to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions” (Cecchini and Martínez, 2011, pp. 216-218). Housing therefore plays a key role in any social protection system, by allowing household members to live in an environment that enables them to develop their capacities and become less poverty-prone.
    • Disaster response challenges for social protection systems
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Keys to building universal social protection systems

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    • The rights-based approach in social protection
      As discussed in the first two chapters of this book, the progress made since the start of the twenty-first century in social protection policies and programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean has occurred alongside processes of democratization and has broadened public social investment and expanded the coverage of benefits. Many of the policy reforms and the new programmes developed owe much to a vision based on the realization of the economic and social rights of all citizens, men and women alike, and the furtherance of the equality agenda which is taking root in the region (ECLAC, 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2014a).
    • Building compacts for social protection
      This chapter has three main goals. First, it seeks to frame the concept of a social compact as a desirable horizon for the construction of universal social protection systems that will engender greater equality and narrow existing social divides. Approaches for achieving this objective have been proposed in a number of studies recently conducted by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Second, it will review some of the observations and lessons learned from the analysis and monitoring of social protection systems and social policy reforms in countries of the region. The focus here is on an approach to social compacts that, rather than casting them as a “must” or as an optimum horizon, views them as a delimited sphere of action for building a consensus around the need to create universal social protection systems. Third, it will review reform processes in Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico and Uruguay as a means of illustrating the specific challenges and opportunities associated with efforts to broaden social protection coverage in Latin America.
    • Coordinating sectors and institutions for building comprehensive social protection
      Many of the social protection systems in Latin America have been overhauled during the past two decades. In part, this is a reflection of a growing awareness of the fact that many “social” problems actually have many different dimensions and have a wide variety of interrelated causes. In addition, given the complexity of social issues, a comprehensive, rights-based approach to social protection (see chapter IX) is being developed that entails at least three types of policy packages that relate to the policy objectives of ensuring universal access to health care and education
    • Monitoring and evaluation of social protection policies and programmes
      In order to manage social protection policies and programmes properly and transparently, it is necessary to have comprehensive knowledge of their progress, achievements and limitations. Without that information, it is impossible to ascertain whether they are achieving their objectives of reducing poverty and vulnerability, or to guarantee the exercise of economic and social rights effectively and efficiently. Given the importance of the issue, this chapter examines the discussion of monitoring and evaluation as instruments for supporting the management of social protection and gives examples in this connection.
    • Financing and investment for social protection
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