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The Social Security Policy Support (SSPS) Programme supports the government with reforming the current social security system based on the National Social Security Strategy (NSSS), ensuring that economic growth is achieved in a more inclusive manner.

Social security is mandated by the Constitution of Bangladesh, with Article 15 (d) obligating the State to secure the right to social security for its citizens. At a Social Protection Conference in Dhaka in 2011, the Government of Bangladesh announced a commitment to develop a national strategy for social protection in Bangladesh. Over past decades the country’s social safety net portfolio has incrementally increased every year, now comprising some 140 projects implemented through 23 ministries. An unplanned growth of the portfolio has caused fragmented implementation, with both duplication and under-coverage. Assisted by UNDP, the Government of Bangladesh embarked upon the formulation of a comprehensive National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) to coordinate and consolidate the existing safety net programmes to achieve better efficiency and results.

A series of consultations took place to ensure engagement of all stakeholders and to reach consensus about the principles and framework of the strategy. The NSSS was approved by the Cabinet on 1 June 2015. The core of the strategy is programme coordination and consolidation along life cycle risks, with programmes for children, working age people – including specific focus on youth and vulnerable women – the elderly, and persons with disabilities. The strategy puts emphasis on reaching out to a range of socially excluded population groups that face various kinds of social discrimination and often have special needs.

UNDP supports the Government to roll out the National Social Security Strategy through the Social Security Policy Support (SSPS) Programme, in partnership with the Cabinet Division and the General Economics Division (GED) of the Planning Commission. Department for International Development (DFID) is the principal programme donor.

The SSPS Programme has two components: Governance of Social Security and Strengthening of Delivery Systems. Strengthened governance will ensure better coordination, M&E and reporting functions and develop Government research and analysis capacities, building a more effective evidence base for effective policy decisions. Developing modern social security infrastructure will build capacity to support a nationally integrated delivery system for reliable and transparent social transfers.

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