A Global Fund for Social Protection: Lessons from the diverse experiences of global health, agriculture and climate funds


The idea of a global fund for social protection has taken hold over the last decade as a potential solution to structural gaps in the global financial and development architectures that have failed to ensure social protection receives an equitable share of development resources available and have left 4.14 billion people – or 53.1% of the world’s population – especially those in low- and middle-income countries, excluded from any social protection scheme. There is no single proposed model for such a fund but there is a need for clear, strategic thinking about the prospective governance structures and mechanisms overseeing a putative new fund.

Based on the study “A global fund for social protection. Lessons from the diverse experiences of global health, agriculture and climate funds” produced by a team of researchers, led by Professor Nicola Yeates at the Open University in the UK, and published by the ILO, this webinar presented experiences of setting up global funds across the health, climate and agriculture sectors and the lessons to be learnt from them that can guide further thinking about the implementation of a prospective global fund for social protection. Discussion focused on institutional governance arrangements of existing global funds carefully selected for their diversity in terms of origins, longevity, aims and institutional structures, and what they tell us about critical governance issues that need to be carefully navigated in the design and institutionalization of a global fund for social protection.

The organizers of this webinar have compiled a report summarizing the key discussions from this session. It is available here.



Nicola Yeates, Professor of Social Policy, School of Social Sciences and Global Studies, The Open University

Chris Holden, Professor of International Social Policy, University of York

Markus Kaltenborn, Professor of Public Law at the Faculty of Law & Co-Director of the Institute of Development Research and Development Policy, Ruhr-University Bochum

Gita Sen, Honorary Senior Advisor and Distinguished Professor, Ramalingaswami Centre on Equity & Social Determinants of Health, Public Health Foundation of India, Bangalore

Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights

Alison Tate, Director of Economic and Social Policy, International Trade Union Confederation

Pierre Vincensini, Senior Advisor, International Organization of Employers

Moderator: Shahra Razavi, Director Social Protection Department, International Labour Organization