Social Protection and Health: A Key Relationship for Achieving the Sdgs

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 14:45
Location: Hörsaal 11 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Amanda SHRIWISE, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Many changes have taken place in global social policy since the instillation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including in the World Bank and International Labour Organization’s (ILO) recent announcement of a joint mission and plan of action to achieve universal social protection. As defined by the World Bank and ILO, social protection programmes are designed to help alleviate and eradicate poverty by insuring income support across the life cycle, particularly for the poor and vulnerable.  In 2008, the World Heath Organization’s (WHO's) Commission on the Social Determinants of Health drew attention to the root causes of poor health, many of which are related to or exacerbated by a lack of social protection.  Equally, improving health is key to ending cycles of poverty and ensuring well-being at all stages of life, suggesting a bi-directional link between social protection and health.

Social protection policies have been cited as key to making progress on all of the MDGs, and they are again being discussed as one of the primary strategies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Recognising this link, WHO has been working to promote intersectoral action that strengthens both social protection and health at global, regional, and national levels throughout out its member states.  This paper outlines the history of these efforts, offers a conceptual framework through which to understand the relationship between universal social protection and health, and articulates how this relationship may impact and support the achievement of the SDGs.