Multidimensional tool for assessment of social protection framework - a life cycle approach: conceptualisation, construction and comparison

With the objective of introducing a holistic approach for review and assessment of social protection framework, the Multidimensional Social Protection Index (MSPI) is conceptualised in this paper. While developing the proposed MSPI ‘human life cycle’ has been kept at the centre. Accordingly, three sub-indices representing different life phases namely Young Social Protection Index (YSPI), Adult Social Protection Index (ASPI) and Elderly Social Protection Index (ESPI) are constituted. For ascertaining these sub-indices, social protection programs covering important areas like livelihood, education and health are evaluated by assessing their three dimensions viz. adequacy, coverage and efficacy. For this purpose, a set of indicators are framed. A detailed stepwise methodology for construction of MSPI is presented herein. The study is extended to compute MSPI for Indian states on the basis of selected social protection programs to gauge its practical applicability. Using a seven-step computation methodology presented in this paper, MSPI scores for Indian states are estimated and demonstrated herein with stepwise calculation. Further, a robustness check of MSPI is also conducted; the results reveal that MSPI scores estimated under different scenario are not significantly different and thus endorse the robustness of MSPI and its given methodology. Therefore, this study advocates that MSPI is quantifiable, practically implementable and a robust tool which would enable policy makers in developing benchmarks, assessing gaps, optimising allocation of resources and designing appropriate social protection programs.