Working Paper

The Influence of Policy and Legal Frameworks on the Development of National Social Protection Systems

Published on 1 November 2017

Social protection in low and lower middle-income countries is slowly but steadily becoming more systematised. Policy and legal frameworks are widely considered to be crucial for the creation of social protection systems.

National policies and strategies can help to institutionalise social protection while legal frameworks can formalise the rights base for social protection. But exactly how important are such frameworks? And what role do they play? This paper aims to shed light on the role of policy and legal frameworks in the establishment of social protection systems. It examines the extent to which frameworks influence the creation of systems (top-down process), whether emerging systems inform the development of frameworks (bottom-up process), or whether a more non-linear process is at work. It does so by building on secondary academic and policy literature and drawing on case study material, most notably in Ghana.


Keetie Roelen

Research Fellow / Co-Director, Centre for Social Protection

Publication details

published by
Kaltenborn, M., Abdulai, A-G., Roelen, K. and Hague, S.
IDS Working Paper, issue 501


About this publication

Programmes and centres
Centre for Social Protection

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