Social Security Policy Support (SSPS) Programme

An initiative of the Cabinet Division and the General Economics Division (GED), Bangladesh Planning Commission, Government of Bangladesh
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Progress Report, 2023 of NSSS Action Plan – II (2021-26)

This comprehensive report offers a detailed evaluation of the implementation progress of the National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) Action Plan-Phase II (2021-26) in Bangladesh. The NSSS serves as a pivotal roadmap designed to reform the nation’s social protection system, with the overarching objectives of reducing poverty and inequality while contributing to overall economic progress.

The report underscores the significant headway that has been made in fulfilling the NSSS’s vision of creating a more equitable and inclusive society. By targeting disadvantaged groups and striving to ensure access to essential social services, the NSSS has played a crucial role in enhancing the well-being and livelihoods of the most vulnerable segments of the population. Through its various components, including cash transfers, social insurance, and social services, it addresses multifaceted needs, striving to make a substantial impact.

The report’s preparation process was characterized by a systematic and collaborative methodology, beginning with consultation workshops and drawing data from various authoritative sources. The accuracy of the report was ensured through rigorous analysis within the Cabinet Division and review and approval by the Action Plan Sub-Committee. Technical assistance from the Social Security Policy Support (SSPS) Programme and the Technical Assistance and Support for Social Security Reform (TASSR) team further enhanced its credibility.

The structure of the report consists of three distinct but interconnected parts. Part 1 explores the achievements and contributions of the NSSS in reducing poverty, enhancing employment opportunities, and empowering vulnerable populations. Part 2 delves into the accomplishments of individual ministries and thematic clusters within the action plan. It also evaluates reform initiatives, beneficiary selection processes, and the Government-to-Person (G2P) modality of cash transfer. Part 3 introduces the Core Diagnostics Instrument (CODI) assessment (report prepared separately), providing an external perspective on the nation’s progress in social protection.

Additionally, the report highlights key sectors of Bangladesh’s economic development, including the crucial role of the garment industry, advancements in agriculture, improvements in education, healthcare, women’s empowerment, microfinance initiatives, renewable energy, and digitalization.

Bangladesh’s vision of becoming a “Smart Bangladesh” underscores its commitment to harnessing digital technology and innovation for economic growth and governance improvement. This entails strengthening digital infrastructure, enhancing e-governance, supporting startups, improving healthcare services, enhancing digital skills, and ensuring cybersecurity.

Of particular note is the expansion of the social safety net program, which has effectively reduced poverty rates by targeting the poorest segment of the population. This targeted approach demonstrates the NSSS’s commitment to reaching those who are most in need.

While the NSSS has undeniably achieved commendable milestones, it is not devoid of challenges. Principal among these challenges is the necessity to enhance the precision and effectiveness of targeting social protection programs to reach the most deserving beneficiaries. A second vital challenge is the optimization of coordination among diverse ministries and agencies engaged in implementing the strategy.

In summation, the NSSS of Bangladesh is emblematic of a comprehensive, forward-looking framework committed to addressing the critical social protection needs of its most vulnerable populations. It has made impressive strides in expanding social safety net programs and introducing innovative social health protection initiatives. Nevertheless, it remains a work in progress, calling for continued diligence and collaborative efforts to ensure the equitable distribution of social protection benefits among those who need them the most. This progress report delves into the nuanced implementation of the NSSS Action Plan-Phase II (2021-26) to offer a comprehensive evaluation of its advancement towards its objectives.

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