Taking stock of progress: A compilation of universal social security schemes in low- and middle-income countries

Challenging the misconception that universal social security is only viable in high-income countries, this paper compiles examples of ongoing universal coverage schemes in low- and middle-income nations, focusing on old age, disability, and child benefits. With sufficient political backing, these countries have gradually introduced one or multiple universal schemes, constructing comprehensive, affordable, and sustainable lifecycle social security systems over time.

The universal schemes included are initiatives largely designed, implemented, and financed by national governments, dispelling affordability myths and emphasising the transformative potential of self-sufficient, nationwide social security initiatives.