Social protection for the informal sector: The potential of social and micro-insurance in low- and middle-income countries

Social protection is not only for social but also for economic and political reasons a key element of development policies. However, depending on the context of a given country, different startegies of social protectzion may fit best to achieve its social goals (poverty reduction, resilience to risks), its economic goals (promotion of investment and growth - particularly in the informal sector) and its political goals (social inclusion and cohesion, stabilsiation of polity and society).

Project Lead:
Markus Loewe

Time frame:
2008 - 2016 / completed

Project description

Over 50% of the world population is without any formal protection against risks such as age, illness, and unemployment. Actually it is the job of governments to develop social insurance systems that are generally accessible for the population. In many countries, though, governments are unwilling or unable to undertake this task. In this case, one reasonable alternative would be micro-insurance that is financed solely from member contributions and still affordable for poor households. This is most likely to succeed if commercial insurance companies cooperate with agents close to the target groups (NGOs, village committees, micro-finance institutions). The research project is looking into conditions under which micro-insurance may prove superior to social insurance systems.


The post-2015 agenda: The role of Social Protection