OECD Development Policy Papers

The OECD Strategy on Development aims to strengthen the Organisation’s contributions to inclusive and sustainable growth in a wide array of countries. It draws on OECD’s evidence-based approaches, policy dialogue and knowledge sharing to improve policy making and economic reform. This strategy identifies four interlinked thematic areas: innovative and sustainable sources of growth; mobilisation of resources for development; governance for sustainable development; and measuring progress for development. Designed for a wide readership, the OECD Development Policy Papers are intended to stimulate discussion and analysis on these topics.

English, French

Towards universal social protection

Lessons from the universal health coverage initiative

Universal social protection (USP) is becoming high priority in many developing countries’ agendas. However, information on what has worked well – and not so well – is limited. This study reviews a wide range of recent country experiences with universal health coverage (UHC) financing and implementation in order to draw lessons and help governments elaborate policies for USP and the extension of social protection. It looks at different pathways and delivery and financing challenges to universalism in health coverage and takes a close look at equity issues. It concludes with some key takeaways from UHC implementation and its implications for USP. One important message of this study is that while the UHC experience cannot be mechanically transposed to the USP agenda, a number of lessons can be drawn. Moreover, the benefits in terms of coverage and equity of better integrating USP and UHC appear tremendous.


Keywords: Burkina Faso, India, equity, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, universal social protection, Ghana, universal health coverage
JEL: D63: Microeconomics / Welfare Economics / Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement; H51: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / Government Expenditures and Health; H55: Public Economics / National Government Expenditures and Related Policies / Social Security and Public Pensions; I38: Health, Education, and Welfare / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Policy; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
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