Social protection has been growing in relevance and interest over the past decades. Developing countries are increasingly adopting comprehensive social protection policies and strategies, beyond contributory social insurance or narrowly targeted non-contributory social assistance programmes. International organisations and donors have been working to enhance recipient states' capacity to develop effective and sustainable systems.

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This study has two main objectives. First, to contribute to fill-in important knowledge gaps as regards the impact of different types of social protection programmes on the micro drivers of growth across different income groups – our understanding of inclusive growth in this report. Second, to create more solid economic arguments for investing in social protection that can feed budget discussions and social dialogue.

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Namibia is an upper middle-income country with one of the most comprehensive social protection systems in Africa. It provides cash transfers and complementary social assistance to a range of vulnerable groups including children, the elderly and people with disabilities, at a cost equivalent to 4.5% of GDP in 2016/17. Public-sector workers are well covered by social insurance, although there are gaps in provision for the private sector.

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Sri Lanka having identified a number of ongoing challenges in sustainable and equitable development, has introduced measures to address these identified challenges, many of which directly relate to the SDGs, Sri Lanka's Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.

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Disability and social protection employment initiatives in Bangladesh

Social protection can contribute to achieving inclusive economic growth and development in Sub-Saharan Africa in many ways, but national governments are sometimes reluctant to invest in comprehensive social protection systems. Evidence-based knowledge about the anticipated effects of these interventions on inclusive development is necessary to generate political and financial commitment to the provision of social protection.

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Promoting inclusion through social protection: Results from the UN Report on the World Social Situation 2018

Malaysia has followed a comparatively equitable development path, largely eliminating absolute poverty and greatly reduced ethnic inequality. Income and wealth inequality have gradually declined since the mid-1970s. With the “people economy” at the centre of Malaysia’s ambition to become a high-income country by 2020, the focus is shifting to the challenges of relative poverty and achieving sustainable improvements in individual and societal well-being through inclusive growth.

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Malaysia has followed a comparatively equitable development path, largely eliminating absolute poverty and greatly reduced ethnic inequality. Income and wealth inequality have gradually declined since the mid-1970s. With the “people economy” at the centre of Malaysia’s ambition to become a high-income country by 2020, the focus is shifting to the challenges of relative poverty and achieving sustainable improvements in individual and societal well-being through inclusive growth.

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For two decades, Africa’s strong economic growth has paved the way for poverty reduction. Nevertheless, high chronic poverty levels persist, and the gap between income groups in terms of human capital and access to basic services is growing. Also, poor households are vulnerable to frequent shocks. By providing regular, reliable support to poor households and helping them invest in productive activities, targeted interventions such as safety nets help reduce persistent poverty, reverse the trend of increasing inequality, and build household resilience.

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