ILO's Flagship Programmes

Introduction to the Programme on Building Social Protection Floors for All

Launched in 2016, the ILO’s Global Flagship Programme on Building Social Protection Floors for All aims to change 130 million lives by 2020 through establishing comprehensive social protection systems in 21 countries and conducting a global knowledge development and education campaign.

73% need a change

Today, 73 per cent of the world’s population does not have access to adequate social protection. It means 5 billion people live in anxiety every day. The implementation of national social protection floors (basic levels of social protection) can change the lives of children, working age women and men, and older persons. This will reduce poverty and inequalities and foster growth and development.

A Flagship programme to support social protection for all

The ILO’s Global Flagship Programme will contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 1.3 to “implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors”. The Programme aims to:
  • Support governments, workers’ and employers’ confederations, and civil society organizations in 21 countries *, in collaboration with other UN agencies, to define and implement tailor-made and functional social protection floors.
  • Contribute to the Global Campaign for Social Protection Floors by developing and sharing knowledge, thus promoting the ILO’s values and standards.

Change 130 million lives by 2020

During the past decade, the ILO has supported 136 countries to improve their social protection systems. With the Global Flagship Programme, the ILO will move from piecemeal interventions to more ambitious projects. To implement the Programme and change 130 million lives by 2020, US$50 million – or only $0.4 per person – is needed. Since the ILO works with the highest levels of governments, it has the leverage to affect major institutional changes that have the potential to ultimately impact millions of people.

Public and private donors, including foundations and enterprises, will be at the heart of the Programme, participating in decision-making through the Donors and Partners Group. They will receive regular reports on outcomes thanks to a measurement tool that was developed for the Programme to track the impacts on people. Donors only fund start-up investments and not the recurring costs of the social protection systems. Together, we can change millions of lives!

 * ILO projects in 21 countries


Valérie Schmitt (, Head of the Global Flagship Programme on Social Protection Floors