Social protection

Supporting the Implementation of Sustainable Social Protection Floors for Workers and their Families in ASEAN

This project aims to build a better social protection system for ASEAN countries by securing income, increasing access to social services, and enhancing the employability of female and male workers, with a specific focus on two countries; Cambodia and Myanmar.

While Asia-Pacific has seen considerable economic progress in the last two decades and has lifted millions out of poverty, not everyone has benefitted from these gains. Millions of people are still poor, deprived of basic rights, and vulnerable to increased risks stemming from global economic crises and climate change. This has led governments in the region to place social protection high on their policy agendas.

The adoption of the Declaration on strengthening social protection by ASEAN leaders in 2013 confirmed the growing regional importance of social protection. The Declaration makes a clear reference to the ILO’s Social Protection Floors recommendation, 2012 (No. 202), the ILO’s values and to the ILO’s vision for social protection extension.

Project objectives

This project aims to build a better social protection system for ASEAN countries by securing income, increasing access to social services, and enhancing the employability of female and male workers, with a specific focus on two countries: Cambodia and Myanmar.

The project has three primary objectives:
  • Create and strengthen social security schemes, to facilitate access to social protection for uncovered groups.
  • Access to social protection services is enhanced through the progressive expansion of effective delivery mechanisms.
  • ASEAN countries improve their knowledge of relevant practices to extend social protection to all, including vulnerable and unprotected groups.
The project contributes to ILO’s Global Flagship Programme on Social Protection Floors that aims to support the development and operations of national social protection systems and the global campaign on social protection floors.

Main activities

  • Develop, implement and evaluate a detailed design for new social security schemes and embed it in legislation.
  • Progressively extend the coverage of social security schemes.
  • Identify training needs and prepare training materials.
  • Organize training sessions for national social security staff.
  • Evaluate the processes for the registration, contribution collection and benefit delivery of the social security schemes, propose improvements in line with ILO standards and support the establishment of new processes.
  • Identify the potential for the establishment and expansion of the single window service (SWS) approach in Cambodia and Myanmar.
  • Raise awareness among constituents and the general population and train key actors in the implementation of such mechanisms.
  • Organize training sessions on the single window approach and the employment injury protection in partnership with Korea Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service (COMWEL).
  • Formulate a roadmap for the establishment of Social Service Delivery Mechanism (SSDM) offices and put in place appropriate monitoring mechanisms.
  • Install an impact evaluation protocol to assess the impact of the delivery mechanism and existing social protection programmes and validate design assumptions.

Main outcomes

  • Social protection in the formal sector is progressively extended horizontally and vertically.
  • The capacity of social security staff are improved through hands-on training sessions.
  • Delivery processes of existing schemes are improved.
  • A single window approach to deliver social protection is promoted and extended to reach the most vulnerable.
  • SSDM will be operational in two pilot provinces in Cambodia and the new Social Security Board (SSB) delivery processes will be improved.
  • Two good practices guides, “The SWS approach: a good practices guide” and “Employment Injury protection: a good practices guide” are published, and, using regional experience, related training packages are developed.
  • Training is organized at regional level to disseminate good practices and test related training materials.
The outcomes will contribute to ILO’s efforts to strengthen social protection in Asia-Pacific, especially in relation to the development of a common social protection denominator in all ASEAN Member States, by:
  • Providing recommendations for the progressive development of social protection in all countries, building national social protection strategies.
  • Providing comments and inputs to social security laws and ensuring that these facilitate access to social protection for all uncovered groups, including migrant workers.
  • Supporting the design and implementation of social protection schemes, to ensure that all member states guarantee at least a minimum level of social protection to their citizens, residents, documented and non-documented migrant workers.

Target beneficiaries

Policy makers, managers, technical staff and social partners involved in the design and implementation of social security and employment policies in Cambodia, Myanmar and more broadly in the whole Asia-Pacific region. The ultimate beneficiaries are the workers and their families of these two countries, including employees of formal sector enterprises, workers in small enterprises, the agriculture sector and the informal economy, and those not of working age or are not able to work.


Major partners in Cambodia

The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), the Social Protection Coordination Unit of CARD (SPCU/CARD), the One Window Service Office project (OWSO) of the Ministry of Interior (MoL), the Ministry of Planning (MoP), the inter-ministerial working group on social protection, workers’ and employers’ organisations, local administrations at provincial, district, commune and village levels, children and women’s consultation committees, UN agencies and development partners involved in the field of social protection.

Major partners in Myanmar

The Social Security Board of the Ministry of Labour, the National Commission on Social Protection, the technical working group on social protection in charge of preparing the National Social Protection Strategy and its drafting committee, workers’ and employers’ organizations, civil society organizations, UN agencies and development partners involved in the field of social protection.


Watch videos about SSDM in Asia

Launch of the Social Service Delivery Mechanism (SSDM) in Cambodia

SPF PSA Cambodia: Why is social protection important to you?

Social Service Delivery Mechanism (SSDM) in Cambodia

Interview with Heng Sour on social protection services in Cambodia

Interview with Sann Vathana on Cambodia's NSPS and decentralization