The project Enhancing Social Protection Systems: Towards Investments for Results in Nepal aims to support the Government of Nepal (GoN) in improving social protection policies, financing strategies, coordination mechanism as well as implementation and monitoring systems to increase coverage to the excluded, including people living with disabilities, informal sector workers and people faced with disaster risks.

Inclusive processes are very important to ensure that society’s priorities are reflected in policies that are effective, and explore the synergies between social protection and public financial management, at federal and provincial levels.
Marco Gemmer, EU Head of Cooperation, the EU Delegation to Nepal.

Project partners

In Nepal, the project is being jointly implemented by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and WSM on behalf of the Global Coalition on Social Protection Floors. Key government counterparts include the Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Security, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Social Security Fund (SSF) at the Federal Level, the Ministry of Social Development at the Provincial Level, and Municipal Government at the Local Level.  The project will work closely with Province 2 and the Karnali Province.

Social security is a fundamental right as per the provisions made in the 2015 Constitution of Nepal.
Binod Prakash Singh, Joint-Secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Security.

Key Achievements in 2020

  • One of the key achievements in 2020 include the support to the National Planning Commission (NPC) in the drafting of a National Integrated Social Protection Framework through a consultative process. Technical support was provided through three national experts to review the framework as per the request of the National Planning Commission. The project supported the Commission in organising consultative workshops with key social protection partners and stakeholders for discussing the draft. The National Planning commission has presented the framework to the Cabinet Committee and received feedback which is being incorporated by the NPC and will be re-submitted for approval. 
  • The project also conducted an assessment on social protection responses to COVID-19 in Nepal with recommendations on policy options. The key objectives of the paper include providing an overview of impacts of the crisis on the world of work in Nepal, closely examining particularly affected sectors and categories of workers; analysing the social protection system in place, detecting major coverage gaps; formulating the measures announced up to then to mitigate the impact of the pandemic; and suggesting options for the social protection response Nepal can avail of to support workers in both formal and informal sectors as the crisis evolves.  The report looks at how social protection systems can be reviewed and strengthened to fulfil their role as economic and social stabilizers during the crisis recovery and as integral elements of further economic growth.
  • Finally, the project has successfully increased synergies, fostering better understanding and collaboration between trade unions and civil society. It reached over 60,000 people on issues related to the programme, like inclusiveness, right based approach, shock responsiveness and labour migration through social media, radio jingles and public service announcements, as well as media coverage. ITUC-Nepal Affiliate Council (ITUC-NAC) and the trade unions campaigned in all seven provinces to raise awareness among workers in order to enrol more workers in the contributory SSF, specifically targeting private and boarding school union members. 
  • A national e-conference on Assessing Impact and Opportunities for Child and Family Friendly COVID-19 response in Nepal was organized on 10 December 2020 that aimed to take stock of social protection responses and provide a platform for knowledge sharing learning and collaboration on leveraging the pandemic to build a stronger, more resilient social protection system. The e-conference was attended by various ministries, Members of the Parliament, development partners and civil society organizations.
The ILO Nepal has been working in close coordination with the Social Security Fund (SSF) to advance the government’s agenda on social protection. In the backdrop of how COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the significance of contribution-based social protection in the country, the project hopes to build the capacity of federal and provincial actors for effective and timely implementation of social security systems.
Richard Howard, Director of ILO Nepal.

Key Planned Activities for 2021

Ongoing activities that are expected completion in 2021 and aim to improve social protection policies, financing strategies, accountability mechanisms to enhance and increase expansion of social protection coverage, include:

  • Analytical research studies to inform policy making, especially at the local government level on improved business processes and service delivery of Social Security Allowance (SSA) and accountability mechanism of SSA. Additionally, various social budget briefs have been produced and are in the publication for wider dissemination to strengthen advocacy through the lens of public finance for children.
  • Capacity building workshops at provincial and local levels with key policymakers on strengthening SP public service delivery are being planned for April 2021.  
  • To strengthen delivery of contribution-based social security and improve coverage, the project has started implementation of activities to improve governance, management, and administration of the SSF through two parallel works. The first include work on systems review that aims to foster the improvement and effective implementation of the SSF’s ICT environment that is aligned with the business process, governance, and management. The second include capacity assessment and a capacity development plan that will attempt to identify the multiple dimensions of capacity, and the competencies required to effectively implement a contribution-based social security system under the SSF in Nepal.
“To get more people better coverage, to raise more money for social protection and spend it better, social movements like CSOs and trade unions have a key role to play. Many of us have years of grassroot experiences and insights, strive to represent and advocate to ensure the inclusion of all. Through this programme, social movements can hopefully be involved meaningfully and structurally and ensure that no one is left behind.”
Bruno Deceukelier, WSM on behalf of the GCSPF.

Project Resources

  • Budget Briefs



Suravi Bhandary, ILO, National Project Coordinator –

Andre Felipe Bongestabs, ILO –

Barsha Dharel, UNICEF, Social Policy Officer  –

Chija Bhandari, UNICEF, Social Policy Officer-

Usha Mishra, UNICEF, Chief of Social Policy –

Bruno Deceukelier, WSM, Asia Coordinator –