Shock-Responsive Social Protection with the Joint SDG Fund

Welcome to the Joint SDG Fund Community Page on Social Protection in Crisis Contexts!

The Joint Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Fund is an innovative instrument to incentivize the transformative policy shifts and stimulate the strategic investments required to get the world back on track to meet the SDGs. The UN Secretary-General sees the Joint SDG Fund as a key part of the reform of the UN’s development work by providing the “muscle” for a new generation of Resident Coordinators (RCs) and UN Country Teams (UNCTs) to really accelerate SDG implementation.

To date, the Joint SDG Fund has funded 97 joint programmes focused on integrated social protection or SDG finance. It has stimulated over 600 partnerships working together alongside the UN to support the SDGs, while testing over 100 innovative solutions to accelerate the 2030 Agenda.

The Joint SDG Fund is a multi-partner trust fund. This means the contributions it receives are not entity-specific, but aim to support broader UN system-level functions. Such pooled funding is widely considered ‘multilateralism-friendly’, and is much more suitable for the integrated support at scale essential for achieving the 2030 Agenda. Flexibility in reallocating funds has also proven critical for rapid responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Portfolio on Integrated SP for LNOB 

As the strategic instrument for galvanizing SDG acceleration, the Joint SDG Fund invested USD 70 million, and mobilized USD 32 million in co-funding, into a portfolio of 39 countries on integrated policy solutions for social protection to Leave No One Behind (LNOB). The Call for Concept notes was launched in March 2019 and it led to 114 country applications. 35 proposals of highest quality were developed into full-fledged joint programmes and launched in 2020.

The portfolio will deliver transformative results at scale by January 2022 by enabling innovation, local leadership and ownership, sustained efforts towards transformative results. Such velocity in achieving the results that typically require 5 years or more, also echoes the urgency of the Decade of Action. The theories of change of joint programmes are predicated on the assumption that actions taken at the individual, household and community levels will lead to movements out of poverty by creating a multiplier effect across different SDGs.

The systemic impact of the portfolio is manifested in social services, childcare, employment, social cohesion, health care, education and pension systems. The investment prioritizes the most vulnerable and all joint programmes put gender equality and women’s empowerment in the forefront of policy innovation.

Adapting and responding to COVID-19

COVID-19 increased the salience of social protection for the most vulnerable, which led the Fund to provide an opportunity for re-purposing 20% of programme budgets to adapt and respond to the pandemic. The priority was to support the most vulnerable, build back better, and contribute to SDG acceleration by:

  • Designing and institutionalizing comprehensive social protection systems that mainstream human rights to address inequalities, vulnerabilities, and systemic poverty;

  • Making social protection systems more adaptive and resilient in preparation for future shocks due to pandemics, natural disasters or climate change;

  • Facilitating innovations that “break down the silos” and produce coherent, just and sustainable policy outcomes.

Integrated Social Protection for Leaving No One Behind

An interactive factsheet provides basic info on the joint programmes of the Joint SDG Fund that focus on shock-responsive or adaptive social protection.

It also includes links to webpages of the programmes with more info on the objectives, partners, etc. 

Check also the Virtual Expo Booth at the Global e-Conference on Social Protection and COVID-19 and the recording of our side event.

Here you can also find the Presentation slides for Side event 4: Shock-Responsive Social Protection: Lessons from the Joint SDG Fund for an Integrated Approach to COVID-19.

Few other suggested links for further information:

Where we work

Setting the Foundation: 2019 Progress Report

Social protection for the most vulnerable - Adapting to COVID-19 impact 

Diverse Innovation Portfolio for SDGs  

Latest on the Joint SDG Fund 

Fact Sheet on Shock-Responsive Social Protection 


Contact us! 
Feel free to reach out to our team at [email protected]