Eradicating Extreme Poverty: National Social Security Strategy 2015

The Government of Bangladesh, in collaboration with UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and UNDP Bangladesh launched the National Social Security Strategy 2015 on Thursday 5th November 2015 at the NEC Auditorium, GED, Planning Commission, Dhaka.

For the first time, the National Social Security Strategy 2015 will address the triple problems of poverty, vulnerability and marginalization which will pave the way to sustainable social development in Bangladesh. The Government embarked on the task of framing a comprehensive strategy for its social security engagement, to coordinate and consolidate the existing safety net programmes for better efficiency and results.

The National Social Security Strategy has been developed under the joint leadership of the Cabinet Division and the General Economics Division, with close involvement of an inter-ministerial committee. After a broad consultative process, the strategy was approved by the Cabinet in June 2015 and launched today. The core of the strategy is a life cycle approach looking at the particular needs, people have over their entire life; benefitting mother and child, youth, vulnerable working age, the elderly and persons with disabilities. Social inclusion of marginalized groups is a central principle, with an expansion of schemes for the extremely poor and most vulnerable people.

The objective of the launching event was to share the National Social Security Strategy amongst government officials, development practitioners, NGO personnel, donor communities and the media.

The National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) launching ceremony was graced by Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, MP, Hon’ble Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament as Chief Guest; Mr. Abul Kalam Azad, MP, Hon’ble Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Planning; and Mr. Promode Mankin, MP, Hon’ble State Minister, Ministry of Social Welfare as Special Guests, while Mr. AHM Mustafa Kamal, FCA, MP, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Planning chaired the ceremony.

Ms. Pauline Tamesis, UNDP Country Director; and Ms. Sarah Cooke, Country Representative, DFID Bangladesh attended as Guests of Honour. The ceremony was also attended by the respected Senior Secretaries, Secretaries, and high public officials of the Government of Bangladesh, including dignitaries from the civil society, print and media personalities, academics, renowned personalities, including development partners, UN agencies, and NGOs.

Dr Shamsul Alam, Member and Senior Secretary, the General Economics Division of Planning Commission gave a presentation on “a brief on National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) of Bangladesh”. Two eminent economists of Bangladesh: Dr Binayak Sen, Director Research, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS); and Professor M.M. Akash, Economics Department, University of Dhaka took part as discussants and made the event lively.

The Social Security Policy Support (SSPS) Programme is responsible to assist the roll-out of the NSSS. The SSPS programme is jointly implemented by the Cabinet Division and the General Economics Division, in partnership with DFID and UNDP.

Notes to Editors:

1. At the 2011 Dhaka Social Protection Conference, the Government of Bangladesh announced the preparation of the first National Social Security Strategy (NSSS). On request from the General Economics Division (GED), of Planning Commission, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provides financial and technical assistance in putting the strategy into action.

2. The importance of social security is also outlined in the Vision 2021 as the National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) taking shape from Bangladesh’s constitutional obligation of ensuring citizen’s rights of social security. The long-term vision for Social Security as outlined in the government strategy paper is to, build an inclusive Social Security System for all deserving Bangladeshis that effectively tackles and prevents poverty and inequality and contributes to broader human development, employment and economic growth.

3. The Social Security Policy Support (SSPS) Programme will help the government the need for re-configure the current social security system so that economic growth is achieved in a more inclusive manner, with economic opportunities reaching the rural and urban poor and the protection of vulnerable groups against shocks.

4. The Social Security Policy Support (SSPS) Programme will help the government in two areas:

Governance of Social Protection

Currently, the Cabinet Division and the General Economics Division of the Ministry of Planning are important drivers of the implementation process of current National Social Security Strategy (NSSS). Through the Central Monitoring Committee (CMC) for Social Safety Nets and relevant government agencies, institutions – a knowledge management base would be established, while setting up a policy research unit – technical body/platform to identify and highlight excellent models of practices, and building linkages with 30 ministries, divisions, departments under CMC umbrella including partnership with key stakeholders outside the government to provide a policy forum to address the social protection related cross-cutting issues in policy discussions. Innovations and challenging issues instigate the development of action plans and strategies related to social development, in particular, to address the gender issues in NSSS.

Stronger Social Protection Systems

Piloting different models related to social protection systems, i.e., G2P electronic payment systems, selection of beneficiaries, sub-national to national level capacity development, strengthening monitoring and evaluation including MIS system on social safety nets of Bangladesh in collaboration with other social development programmes within and outside of the government in particular to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics to ensure beneficiary database from the national household database with gender disaggregation, for regular performance monitoring and evaluation including social security policy planning and decisions.

For further information, please contact Ishrat Hossain, Communications Associate/Head of New Media, UNDP Bangladesh, Mobile no. 01717058898 or Syeda Nazneen Ferdousi, Head of Communications, UNDP Bangladesh, Mobile no. 01965-286627, Email:syeda.ferdousi@undp.org,

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