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Building Integrated Social Protection Delivery Systems in MENA Countries

  • Starts: Mar 26, 2015
  • Ends: Mar 27, 2015
  • Location: Brussels, Belgium
  • By: CMI, AFD

    As part of the CMI Employment and Social Protection Program and the MENA CoP on employment and Social Safety Nets (SSN), the World Bank together with the AFD organized a knowledge sharing and capacity building activity on the establishment of integrated Social Protection (SP) systems.


    The activity was highly relevant and timely for participating countries as most of them are in the middle of establishing the building blocks of a SP delivery system, which will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of social programs in MENA.


    A total of 18 high-level technical government officials from Algeria, Egypt, Djibouti, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia participated in the activity, the first part of which consisted of a two-day technical workshop in Marseille. The purpose of this workshop was to share emerging knowledge on the building blocks of an integrated SP system, in order to improve the delivery of improved social services. In particular, the workshop focused on key concepts and international experiences of robust identification systems, social registries and Management Information Systems (MIS).


    The second part of the activity consisted of a two-day study tour in Brussels, which complemented the workshop in Marseille and sought to bridge theory with practice by exposing the same participants to an international best practice of identifying target populations of Government programs and managing ID and social information. 


    The activity also enabled participants to share their ongoing efforts to establish integrated SP systems, including the main challenges encountered and opportunities moving forward. This video highlights some of the participants’ experiences developing SP systems in their respective countries, and underscores the importance of knowledge sharing in this process.

    The main results of the activity could be summarized as follow:


    • SP systems enhance integration, efficiency, and effectiveness of available programs. They also involve substantive implementation challenges. In this context, institutional arrangements to develop SP systems are fundamental, as they help to define roles and responsibilities and are thus critical to ensure coordination;
    • ID systems are an important element of SP systems, but their development is part of a larger development agenda;
    • the Belgian eID system is an example of how a robust identification system can help to achieve system integration as well as interoperability of different databases;
    • the development of social registries is part of a coherent strategy to reach the desired population. However, there is not a single approach to develop social registries as many criteria can be used depending on the purpose and objectives of the SP systems to be implemented;
    • social registries and MIS systems are both core elements of an integrated SP system;
    • universality (registering an extended population) and targeting (being selective in the allocation of SP benefits) are not incompatible concepts;
    • there is not a single approach to targeting. Targeting practices at the program level need to be revised and evaluated periodically;
    • different programs can use the same registry but use different cut-off points.

    The activity was subject to an evaluation to assess participants’ satisfaction, and included questions on both quality and relevance of content. The results of the evaluations showed that 100% of participants considered both the workshop in Marseille and the study tour in Brussels useful. Similarly, 100% and 87% of the participants, respectively, rated the workshop and the study tour as relevant.


    Given the importance of the SP system agenda for the MENA region and the interest of the participants to continue discussing and to expand on the knowledge shared through this activity, it was decided that the next virtual event sponsored by the MENA CoP on employment and SSN would feature the case of Jordan’s fuel subsidy compensation/registry. This event was held on June 15, more information to be found here.