Inclusive Social Security Policy Forum (ISSPF) is a network and space for civil society organisations and individuals across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region challenging the dominant narratives and making the case for inclusive social security.
Across the MENA region, social insurance schemes tend to provide support solely to those in the formal economy, while the rest of the population is only offered poor quality programmes for “the poor”. The dominant social security paradigm across the region is a bifurcated model that excludes a large proportion of the population living on middle – but still low and insecure – incomes from social security, the so-called “missing middle”. The alienation of this key group from social security – and other public services – has become a major challenge across middle-income countries in the region, potentially undermining trust in the state, and is increasingly a key source of public unrest.
There is a dire need to shift the narrative on delivering social protection in the region, to move away from the prevailing old-fashioned poor relief model and toward a modern, inclusive social security model.
ISSPF aims to de-mystify complex concepts in social protection and social security by improving understanding of the qualitative differences between different types of social protection programmes and their implications for achieving broader national economic and social development goals.
Through the network, ISSPF provides access to research on inclusive social security, practical tools to support organisations as they engage in national debates, opportunities to participate in trainings and events on inclusive social protection, and a blog and news space to follow and weigh in on pressing issues.
Made possible with funding from the Ford Foundation, ISSPF is implemented by Development Pathways in partnership with Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD) in Jordan, the Centre for Social Sciences Research and Action (formerly Lebanon Support) in Lebanon and Observatoire Tunisien de l'Economie in Tunisia.
The Centre for Social Sciences Research & Action (formerly Lebanon Support) is a research centre based in Beirut. The NGO aims to foster social change through innovative uses of social science, digital technologies, publication and the exchange of knowledge.
Founded in 2008 in Amman, Jordan, Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD) is a civil society organisation which aims to address the challenges faced by the Arab world through encouraging dialogue, research, education, training, youth empowerment, gender justice, social and economic development, in addition to the provision of relief, social protection services and direct legal assistance.
The Observatoire Tunisien de l'Economie is the result of a 2012 initiative undertaken by researchers, analysts and activists concerned about Tunisian public policies. It seeks to provide guidance to citizens with regard to economic policies and their impact on development through independent, objective, documented and critical information.
Welcome to our network ! اهلًا وسهلًا بكم
Join us and stay up to date with the latest news and information on social protection in the MENA region, with access to expert webinars, videos and articles.
Development Pathways, with support from a Ford Foundation grant, is implementing the ISSPF to build the evidence on social security across the MENA region, and strengthen capacity across civil society to make the case for inclusive social security systems that offer income security to everyone, across the lifecycle.
Find additional global resources on inclusive social security on the Development Pathways website.