Amongst their constituency interests in Parliament, in terms of social protection, Members of Parliament bear a three pronged role: advocacy, representing the various interests of their constituency and playing an influential role in deciding how public funds should be allocated to help the extreme poor; thus, help make social protection a reality in their constituencies. Advocate Mir Showkat Ali Badsha MP Bagerhat 2, said “I am glad that the government is making social protection a top strategy, surely this strategy will carry our country to the top middle income bracket by 2021 and I thank the Cabinet Division and Bangladesh Parliament for taking this kind of initiative.’
130 Members of Parliament (MPs) attended an orientation session on the 2nd and 4th October 2016 for the National Social Security System and Scope for Reform at the National Parliament House. The Speaker of the Parliament, Deputy Speaker, Chief Whip, Secretary, Cabinet Division, Senior Secretary of General Economics Division, Planning Commission and Secretary Parliament, jointly shared a common platform to address questions and suggestions from the MPs regarding the National Social Security Strategy and social safety nets.
The core of the National Social Security Strategy of Bangladesh (NSSS) aims at programme consolidation along lifecycle risks, with programmes for children, working age people including specific focus on youth and vulnerable women, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Also, the NSSS puts emphasis on reaching out to a range of socially excluded population groups that face various kinds of social discrimination. The NSSS has the vision of moving towards a right-based approach in line with provisions of Bangladesh’s Constitution, by building “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.”
Amongst issues which were discussed were on implementation of social security schemes, targeting beneficiaries, facilitative role of the MPs, increase in benefits, limiting leakages and monitoring and evaluation.
The workshops were organized by the Cabinet Division and Bangladesh Parliament with support from the Social Security Policy Support (SSPS) Programme, funded by Government of Bangladesh, UNDP and DFID.